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Customer services continue in the wellbeing services county of North Karelia

The wellbeing services county of North Karelia “Siun sote” will start operating on 1 January 2023. Social, health and rescue services and environmental health care services will be transferred to the wellbeing services county.

For customers, the offices and contact channels and their service numbers will remain unchanged at the turn of the year.

– At the turn of the year, there will be little change to the customer, as contact details, Siun sote name, familiar personnel, locations and services will remain unchanged, says Elina Felin, director of change.

The biggest changes concern the decision-making system in which the regional council and other institutions have already begun to operate. In the future, funding will also come from the state and not from municipal owners. Their role will change, and they become partners. Central government steering will also be strengthened.

– North Karelia is well prepared to transition to the wellbeing services county. I believe that after the turn of the year, we will soon be able to look at the customer and the customer-oriented reform of service production in a more focused way instead of the reform of administration and structures. The regional council has already set targets for this, says Felin.

Now the wellbeing services county focuses on a safe and smooth transition, which means that the work is carried out precisely to ensure the transfer of personnel and the payment of wages, and to ensure the functioning of information systems.

– The situation is favourable for a safe transition. We have made preparedness plans for the functioning of information systems, and the progress has been monitored daily. In addition, Human Resources and service provider Meita will increase their work input around the turn of the year, says Director of Human Resources Kati Koppinen.

A good foundation exists

North Karelia has a good foundation for the health and social services reform. North Karelia is the only region in Finland that has organised the provision of social welfare and health care services, rescue services and environmental health care with a regionally integrated model since 2017.

Siun sote has harmonised operating methods, created a common knowledge base, and developed the availability of services, accessibility and measuring the customer experience. The focus has been shifted to the prevention of problems, basic services and services taken home.

The wellbeing services county strategy approved by the regional council guides the renewal of services and operating methods for the benefit of the entire population of the county, says Kirsi Leivonen, CEO at Wellbeing services county of North Karelia.

The preparation of the service strategy and the renewal of the service network plan have also been launched. The aim is that the service network plan will be completed in June 2023.

– Services and production methods will be renewed in a customer-oriented manner together with the personnel. We find it important to strengthen co-operation between different professional groups in social services, health care and rescue services, as well as in special and basic level services, Leivonen says.

Multi-actor co-operation will continue to be important.

– Co-operation with municipalities, organisations, other authorities, companies and residents continues for the good of the customer. In this way, we can reach the vision of the wellbeing services county: Together, we produce the most impressive services, says partnership manager Maarita Mannelin.

Offices unchanged

Health services such as emergency services, health care and wellness centres and central hospitals will continue to operate at the turn of the year as they have until now. In social services, the services and offices will remain unchanged.

– Daily operations at rescue departments also proceed as before. As a new item, co-operation between emergency services and home care becomes closer as paramedics start making home visits to home care clients at night, says Markus Viitaniemi, Director of Fire and Emergency.

Some changes are related to housing rental activities for special groups, institutional and catering services and rehabilitative work activities transferred from municipalities to the wellbeing services county.

Rental agreements for housing services for special groups will be transferred from municipalities to the wellbeing services county. These will continue under the same conditions. The Siun sote provision of institutional and meal services will also be transferred from municipalities to Polkka - Pohjois-Karjalan tukipalvelut Oy. Institutional and meal care services will continue at the transition stage in most localities.

In rehabilitative work activities, some customers may experience delays in the service at the beginning of the year or the place of work activity may change. Any changes will be reviewed in person with the customer.

Telephone numbers, emails and incident communications

The number of the wellbeing services county of North Karelia's switchboard will continue to be +358 13 3300. The 24-hour switchboard forwards calls to all Siun sote offices, the North Karelia Rescue Services and the North Karelia Environmental Health Office.

Personnel email addresses will not change but take the form firstname.lastname@siunsote.fi. Most of the rescue services' emails will remain in the form etunimi.sukunimi@pkpelastuslaitos.fi, but the emails of Juuka, Lieksa and Nurmes will be changed to pksote.tuve.fi. In the future, the emails for Juuka, Lieksa and Nurmes's rescue services will be etunimi.sukunimi@pelastustoimi.fi.

If disruptions occur, the wellbeing services county communicates about them through media bulletins, www.siunsote.fi and its social media channels.