Helsetilsynet

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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on the services provided to many user groups. The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision has cooperated with the User Council concerning a user survey. We wanted to investigate changes in services during the pandemic and the impact that these changes have collectively had as regards the health and quality of life of users and patients.

The report describes the survey results and assessments. Many respondents stated they had received fewer services and experienced poorer health and quality of life. In September, many respondents stated that services had not returned to the level they were at before the pandemic. Almost 70 percent of those who answered the questionnaire are vulnerable. There are users who need considerable assistance throughout much of the day, as well as users who receive complex services. Many of their next of kin have provided far more assistance during the pandemic.

Most of those who had received fewer services responded that they were not consulted to any significant extent when the services were amended. They also wanted to be given more information. In the event of changes to services, users and patients must receive the tailored information they need and have the right to be involved in determining their care, even under a pandemic.

The results raise concerns as regards what the situation is like for some of the most vulnerable users. The services are obliged to monitor users who are receiving comprehensive and complex services and have a duty to carry out ongoing individual assessments regarding whether the services are justifiable and meeting the needs of users. The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision expects the health trusts to introduce infection control measures without unreasonable consequences for vulnerable groups.