Valvira dealt with more than 1,000 health care supervision cases in 2020
In 2020, Valvira investigated more than 1,000 supervision cases in the health care sector. The majority of these were initiated through complaints or notifications submitted to Valvira. Also, more than 500 cases of health care supervision were referred to the Regional State Administrative Agencies, in accordance with the statutory division of duties (in Finnish).
A significant percentage of the supervisory matters involve notifications made by employers concerning health care professionals who are suspected of endangering patient safety but whose risks cannot be sufficiently addressed by means available to the employer.
“If there is a risk of a professional compromising patient safety, the first response should be to deal with it through self-monitoring. Valvira provides employers with guidance on how to approach such matters concerning individual professionals,” says Head of Unit Kirsi Liukkonen.
Notifications concerning health care professionals are received not only from employers but also from other professionals, from pharmacies and from the authorities. Such notifications may also be broader in scope, addressing the operations of an entire health care unit and deficiencies in its self-monitoring.
Decrease in the number of complaints
The cases of health care supervision dealt with last year included 368 health care complaints that remained within the remit of Valvira. This figure was down from 421 in the previous year. A further 472 health care complaints received by Valvira were referred to Regional State Administrative Agencies in accordance with the division of duties.
Complaints generally concern the care given to an individual patient and suspected deficiencies therein. Complaints are submitted by patients themselves or by their family members. Valvira’s job is to handle complaints where malpractice leading to the death or severe permanent injury of a patient is suspected. Other complaints about patient care are in the domain of the Regional State Administrative Agencies.
“We are also increasingly referring health care complaints to the health care units which the complaints concern, to be dealt with there as objections. We had 101 such complaints last year. At the same time, we provide guidance for health care operators on how to deal with objections appropriately and how to ensure patient safety. We are notified of the responses to objections given to the patients and intervene if the responses are not appropriate,” says Head of Unit Kaisa Riala.
The number of resolved cases in health care supervisory matters was very nearly the same as in the previous year: 1,033 resolved cases as opposed to 1,041 in 2019.
Supervision of professionals
Head of Unit Kirsi Liukkonen, tel. 0295 209 428
Health care complaints
Head of Unit Kaisa Riala, tel. 0295 209 381
For more on supervisory matters handled by Valvira in 2020, see our Annual Report (pdf in Finnish).
Further information on supervisory matters in health care (valvira.fi in Finnish)