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Staffing levels at round-the-clock care services

Helsinki has a good staffing level in round-the-clock care services. Changes to the Act on Care Services for the Elderly are having an impact on the personnel structure and the arrangement of support services, in particular. The change and planning work is already well under way.

It is estimated that the change to the staffing level will cause additional costs of about EUR 14 million to Helsinki by 2023.

What are staffing levels?

  • The aim of the change to the Act on Care Services for the Elderly is to improve the quality of services and the safety of clients and patients.
  • The staffing level is calculated from the ratio of work performed by the employees present at a care unit and the number of residents.
  • The staffing levels will grow gradually. The staffing level will increase incrementally. The staffing level will enter fully into force on 1 April 2023, when the actual staffing level must be at least 0.7 employees per client.
  • The staffing level applies to round-the-clock care services, i.e. senior centres and service houses. Currently, there are about 4,000 round-the-clock care positions in Helsinki. Approximately half of these are outsourced positions.

What is Helsinki doing?

  • We are making support services, such as laundry and cleaning services, uniform. There are differences between the units of the City in how laundry services have been arranged.
  • The monitoring is still being developed so that the work input of substitute and temporary workers is recorded and allocated correctly within different occupational groups.
  • The City of Helsinki is also developing its work shift software in order to make planning work related to staffing easier and provide up-to-date information for the supervision of the City’s operations and monitoring of staffing levels.
  • Helsinki will hire 60 care assistants during 2021. Most of them have already been hired. The duties of the care assistants include primarily direct work with clients, such as assisting with washing and dressing, but also indirect work, such as tasks related to the food and clothing services for the residents.
  • Helsinki will also train care assistants through their own apprenticeship training that will last for about one year.
  • More care assistants and other care professionals will be hired during 2022.