Minimum staffing level in 24-hour care for older people to remain unchanged until 1 January 2028
The minimum staffing level for care personnel in units providing 24-hour care for older people will rise from the current minimum level of 0.65 employees per client to 0.7 employees per client on 1 January 2028. During the transition period, the service structure will be developed and a number of measures will be taken to improve the availability of healthcare and social welfare personnel.
The purpose of the minimum staffing level is to safeguard the right of older people to indispensable care and sufficient health and social services and to promote the equality and inclusion of older people in society. The minimum staffing level is also essential for the wellbeing and coping at work of personnel.
Effects of measures to increase the number of personnel and to develop services will be visible in the long term
The shortage of healthcare and social welfare personnel will be alleviated, for example, through the Good Work Programme outlined in the Government Programme. The Good Work Programme includes a large number of measures to increase the sector’s attraction of retention.
The increased number of student places in the field of healthcare and social welfare will also affect the availability of personnel during the transition period concerning the minimum staffing level. The shortage of personnel can also be further reduced by diversifying the personnel structure of healthcare and social welfare services and by employing separate personnel suitable for all indirect care tasks. Bigger service organisers and production areas would enable a better overall planning of personnel and a larger pool of backup staff.
The provisions on support services, home care available irrespective of the time of the day and communal housing that entered into force this year make it possible to provide more individual care and treatment so that, in future, 24-hour service housing would be offered only to clients who really need it.
The aim is that there will be enough personnel available for all necessary healthcare and social welfare duties by the end of the transition period.
Current minimum staffing level is realised well
Currently, the minimum staffing level is 0.65 employees per client. This is expected to be sufficient to provide client-safe services during the transition period. According to a study conducted in spring 2023, nearly all units providing 24-hour care for older people have reached the minimum level of 0.65 employees per client.
Although the minimum staffing level is currently 0.65 employees per client, the staffing level must be higher than that if the care intensity of clients so requires.
The funding of the wellbeing services counties will be adjusted in December 2023 and in 2024–2027 to correspond to the existing minimum staffing level. The reduction in funding will be EUR 89 million for a whole calendar year.
The legislative amendment will enter into force on 30 November 2023. The Government submitted the relevant bill for approval on Thursday 23 November 2023 and the President of the Republic is to approve the bill on Friday 24 November 2023.
- Matters of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in the Government (decision documents), available in Finnish
Jaana Huhta, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 407
Taina Mäntyranta, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Medical Affairs, tel. +358 295 163692
Email addresses are in the format [email protected].