"We became more aware of the relevant issues" A descriptive study of supervision of municipal health and welfare services for elderly people
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 6/2013
Most municipalities regard the supervision of health and welfare services for elderly people, carried out in 2010 and 2011 by the Offices of the County Governors, as a good basis for improving the services. This was shown by a descriptive study carried out in 2012 by Agenda Kaupang for the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. Altogether, 325 municipalities received an electronic questionnaire about the effects of supervision. 220 municipalities (68 per cent) answered. In addition, telephone interviews were carried out with leaders, deputy mayors and employees in ten municipalities.
Almost 90 per cent of the respondents reported that the supervision reports and dialogue with the Offices of the County Governors provided a sound basis for working with quality improvement of services for frail elderly people. Supervision raised the level of consciousness about quality improvement, and gave the municipalities new impulses. It is positive that this was the case both in municipalities in which breaches of the regulations were detected and in those where no breaches were detected.
During the period 2009-2012, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision and the Offices of the County Governors focussed on supervision of services for elderly people. At the end of this period, we wished to examine which processes and measures had been initiated by the municipalities, and whether the results of supervision were difficult to use for improving services. The municipalities were also asked to give their views about how supervision can make a constructive contribution to improving municipal health and welfare services.
Feedback from the municipalities identified two conditions in particular that should be taken into account by the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision and the Offices of the County Governors when developing supervision in the future:
- Systematic work with risk assessment when choosing the topics for supervision was important so that the municipalities regarded the topics as relevant and important for their services.
- Dialogue with the Offices of the County Governors and the competence of the staff stimulated change.