Operating instructions for informal care support to be prepared

Published: 22.6.2022 20.06Updated: 28.6.2022 11.10

The ‘Informal Care Support’ project being prepared by the West Uusimaa Wellbeing Services County currently focuses on devising common bases for support offered to informal carers, i.e. the operating instructions and service descriptions.

Informal care support is an impactful form of support that is applied to care that exceeds an ordinary familial relationship, regardless of age group. “We are starting from the fact that informal care support has been arranged very differently in the municipalities across West Uusimaa,” says project manager Johanna Rannikko. For the services of the Wellbeing Services County, a significant topic that raises discussion is the definition of the care remuneration categories and the arrangement of days off for informal carers – the practices regarding these vary greatly by municipality. The amount of care remunerations for informal carers is based on the difficulty and the commitment required of the informal care. To define the category of care remuneration, a personal service needs assessment is necessary.

Project group to prepare county-level policies

A project group on informal care support has been founded to consider the criteria for granting support for informal carers. Currently, the group is meeting weekly. The group includes representatives from each municipality in the West Uusimaa Wellbeing Services County: local government officials, representatives of associations (ESKA for informal carers and their family members in Espoo and Kauniainen and Hiiden omaishoitajat from the Lohja-Vihti-Karkkila area) and four experts by experience, i.e. informal carers. Two of the informal carers care for children or young people, while two care for adults.

The project group has collected information about the current status in each municipality and will prepare a proposal on the criteria for granting support to be presented to the County Council. When preparing informal care support, the impact on individuals is considered important: how potential changes affect customers. “We try to collect positive experiences from municipalities and analyse the process so that we can develop equal services,” Rannikko explains the work process.

The project group has set a general target of diversifying and strengthening informal care support and offering the same forms of support to all informal carers, in time. The services should be equal throughout the West Uusimaa Wellbeing Services County. When preparing the operating principles, the experts by experience and associations’ representatives will provide valuable views. “The municipalities’ main principles are consistent, which is why I am confident about us finding a shared vision,” Rannikko describes the current situation.

Care intensity categories and proposal on remunerations presented to the County Council in autumn

The service descriptions and a proposal on the remunerations and criteria for granting will be presented to the County Council in the autumn. Once the Council has decided on the matter, the granting criteria will be adopted by the Wellbeing Services County in early 2023. Several future scenarios have been prepared for the presentation on the remuneration, the purpose of which is to produce an overview of the financial and customer-related impacts.

The transition to the wellbeing services counties may raise concerns among residents about the level of support being reduced or familiar services being discontinued. The project group acknowledges these concerns. Their key message to residents is that – like with all matters related to the preparing of the Wellbeing Services County – a safe transition is a priority. This means that the arrangements for informal carers’ days off will mainly remain the same even after the turn of the year. The intention is to have the transition to the wellbeing services county impact the lives of the customers as little as possible.

Enquiries: Johanna Rannikko, Project Manager, johanna.rannikko@luvn.fi