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In 2007 the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision in the Counties and the County Governors carried out countrywide supervision of health and social services for adults with mental disorders. This involved 68 municipalities and urban districts throughout the country. The aim was to investigate whether services are adequate and available for all the people who need them, whether services are adapted to the individual needs of the clients, and whether the different services are coordinated so that the total service is comprehensive.

According to our assessment, supervision revealed deficiencies in services in some of the municipalities, which can have serious consequences for clients. The result of inadequate assessment of clients and inadequate team work can be that clients’ needs are not met. Deficiencies can relate to both the range of services offered and the content of the services. The result may be that the services do not meet statutory requirements.

These services are characterized by fragmentary organization, different legislation regulating different services, and the involvement of many different types of professionals. Because of this, it is challenging for the municipalities to provide services that meet the requirements laid down in health and social legislation.

However, it may be that the legislation in this area is not specific enough, and that this makes it difficult for the municipalities to interpret the legislation. We suggest that the municipalities may need clearer guidelines about which services they are required to provide for people with mental disorders, and about the content of these services.