Initiatives to improve security in care of the elderly

Published

The Government has introduced several reforms to improve quality and security in care of the elderly. Read more about some of the ongoing initiatives below.

Increased funding to the Care of Older People Initiative

Investing in staff upskilling initiatives improves the quality in care of the elderly so that older people and their relatives have greater confidence and receive good care. This is why the Government wants to increase funding to the Care of Older People Initiative. The initiative comprises SEK 1.7 billion per year in 2022 and 2023. The total sum for 2020–2023 will be approximately SEK 7.2 billion.

The Care of Older People Initiative, which has been under way since 2020, means that new and current staff are given the opportunity to train as nursing assistants or licensed practical nurses in municipal adult education or higher education programmes during paid working hours. From 2021, staff will also be given the opportunity for professional development through upskilling programmes in health and social care for older people, such as specialised licenced practical nurses. In addition, this target group has also been expanded to include first-line managers.

Dedicated care contact person in home care services

Today, many older people who live at home have complex care needs and receive services from many different actors. This is why the Government wants to introduce a statutory scheme in which all home care service recipients are offered a dedicated care contact person who is a licensed practical nurse, and who they and their relatives know they can contact and who coordinates the home care services. The Government intends to adopt a government bill on such a scheme during this fiscal year.

Centre of expertise for care of the elderly

The Government wants to strengthen national action in care of the elderly in order to clarify the importance of good, safe and secure care, and wants to establish a national centre of expertise for care of the elderly under the National Board of Health and Welfare. It is important to follow developments in care of the elderly and ensure that current knowledge is available at national level regarding municipalities and their conditions for providing health and social care for older people. The Government intends to allocate SEK 19 million per year to such a centre.

Enhancement of government grants to municipalities and regions

The Government proposes permanently increasing general government grants to municipalities and regions by SEK 3 billion from 2022. This increase will strengthen the ability of municipalities and regions to safeguard and develop welfare and lay a foundation for good and equal welfare throughout the country. The increase means that in combination with previous initiatives during this electoral period, the level of general government grants, excluding financial adjustments, will be SEK 27.5 billion higher in 2022 than in 2018. Of this, SEK 22.5 billion represents a permanent increase.

An additional SEK 2.5 billion to care of the elderly

In the Budget Bill for 2022, the Government proposes several initiatives in care of the elderly, allocating a total of SEK 2 448 mi:llion. Together with previously presented initiatives, this additional funding means that the central government is expected to provide an additional SEK 10 billion to municipal care of the elderly in 2022 compared with 2018.

In addition to the initiatives for older people in the 2022 budget, the initiatives presented in last year’s Budget Bill will also continue. You can read more about these initiatives here: Reforms for increased welfare in the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs’ areas of responsibility – the Budget Bill for 2022

‘Licensed practical nurse’ to be a protected professional title

From 1 July 2023, ‘licensed practical nurse’ will become a protected professional title. This means that a certificate will be required to be entitled to use the title ‘licensed practical nurse’ in health and social care. Education and training in upper secondary school, municipal adult education or a programme offering equivalent qualifications is required to receive a certificate awarding the right to use the title ‘licensed practical nurse’. The expertise of licensed practical nurses is important for maintaining the quality and security in health and social care. This regulation will ensure clarity regarding the expertise possessed by a person holding the title ‘licensed practical nurse’.

Inquiry on a care of the elderly act

To strengthen the long-term prospects for actors providing care for the elderly and to clarify their mandate, the Government appointed an inquiry in December 2020 tasked with proposing a care of the elderly act. The inquiry’s task can be divided into two parts: firstly, to propose a care of the elderly act that includes the issue of a national care plan and secondly, to consider and, if necessary, submit proposals that in various ways enhance access to medical expertise in care of the elderly. The inquiry is to submit its report to the Government by 30 June 2022.

Opportunities of digital transformation

During the electoral period, the Government has appointed several inquiries to create legislation that provides better conditions for harnessing the opportunities of the digital transformation. Several legislative proposals are currently being prepared at the Government Offices:

  • The Inquiry on welfare technology in the care of the elderly has submitted its report ‘Future technologies in care services’.
  • The Inquiry on cohesive information in health and social care services has also submitted legislative proposals specifically on cohesive health and social care documentation and quality monitoring.
  • The Inquiry on an effective system for elections and decision-making in municipalities and regions has submitted proposals that will enable automated decision-making in municipalities and regions.