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The Norwegian Board of Health has summarized the experience gained from supervision of municipal nursing and care services in all the counties in Norway. 373 supervision visits were carried out. The aim was to identify areas that are particularly vulnerable and where there is potential for improvement. The report is based on supervision of municipal nursing and care services during the period 1998 to 1 June 2003.

Departure from the regulations was identified in 80 per cent of the 373 supervision visits. This was mainly related to inadequate help with basic needs, inadequate administrative procedures when allocating services, inadequate routines for internal control and the situation regarding health care personnel and social personnel.

In the report, the Norwegian Board of Health points out that adequate routines and systems for internal control are necessary in order to provide health and social services with little risk of departure from the regulations. The municipalities have responsibility for ensuring that such systems are developed and that they function in practice, both for users of the services and employees. The experience gained from supervision indicates that there is increasing understanding in the municipalities of the usefulness of internal control, but that there is still a great potential for improvement in this area.