Bulletin, May 12, 2021

The organisation of very advanced healthcare services and social services for people with intellectual disabilities is being planned as a part of the preparation of the health and social services reform

The municipalities of the Uusimaa region have set up a working group to prepare the organisation of social services for people with intellectual disabilities in the future well-being services counties of Western Uusimaa, Eastern Uusimaa, Central Uusimaa and Vantaa-Kerava, as well as in Helsinki. The working group includes representatives from the municipalities in the region and the Eteva and Kårkulla joint municipal authorities.

During the spring, the working group has defined which services for people with intellectual disabilities are considered very advanced services that the future well-being services counties should arrange in cooperation with each other. According to the working group’s proposal, very advanced services for people with intellectual disabilities include institutional care, crisis periods, rehabilitation and assessment periods and forensic psychiatric care. The working group believes that, in the future, these services should be health care services to which people would be directed via health care assessments and referrals and for which the health care services would be responsible.

The social services would remain responsible for the very advanced housing services in accordance with the new Disability Services Act. The working group has defined the content for very advanced housing services regarding the staff’s competence, scale, facilities and content of the operations.

The working group is concerned about the lack of regulation on health care services for people with intellectual disabilities

The legislative proposals for the health and social services reform do not state how the involuntary special care, forensic psychiatric care or health care for people with intellectual disabilities, which are currently governed by the Act on Special Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities, will be implemented in the future. As the Act on Special Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities is annulled, the needs for changes in both the Disability Services Act and the Health Care Act must be assessed, says the group’s chairperson Anu Autio.

Preparations continue

The working group will prepare a proposal on how operators in Uusimaa will arrange the basic and very advanced social services in Finnish and Swedish for people with intellectual disabilities. During the summer and autumn, the group will prepare the options for placing the services and units and moving the basic units to the well-being services counties, as well as a plan for arranging the Swedish-language services.

The preparation will be carried out in cooperation with the ‘Care paths of persons with intellectual disabilities in Uusimaa’ project in order to ensure the integration of social services and health care.

The working group will create its proposal for arranging and organising services by the end of 2021. According to the Government’s legislative proposal for health and social services, the current special care districts will be abolished and the responsibility for the organisation of the services will be transferred to the well-being services counties in 2022–2023.

Further information:

Western Uusimaa representative, chairperson of the working group
Head of Disability Services Anu Autio, City of Espoo
tel. 043 8259890

City of Helsinki representative
Director of Services for the Disabled Katja Raita, City of Helsinki
tel. 050 5930973

Vantaa-Kerava representative
Director of Services for the Elderly and the Disabled
Minna Lahnalampi-Lahtinen
tel. 09 8392 0028

Central Uusimaa representative
Disability Services Manager Olli-Pekka Alapiessa
050 497 2430

Eastern Uusimaa representative
Project Manager Irja Suhonen
Investigation project for closer cooperation in disability services in Eastern Uusimaa
040 1856073

Read more about the reform of the City of Helsinki’s healthcare and social welfare services

Published: 12.5.2021 
(modified: )