Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Peer reviewed paper: Tervishoiu- ja hoolekandesüsteemi koostöö vajalikkus

Capability of coping with everyday life and quality of life of long-term nursing care patients depends on good integration of health and social care competencies and services.

As a part of European 5th Framework project CARMA a description of services, access to them and the obstacles in collaboration of different systems was evaluated in seven European countries. In Estonia we used semi-structured interviews (in total 17) of regional health and social care leaders to find out problems in the field of long-term care. Data from the interviews were analysed based on the cross case method.

The most important research conclusions are as follows:
- All respondents were convinced of the necessity of co-operation between health care and social welfare workers, the respondents would like to see it improved, but they believed that everything important somehow now gets done.

- Inter-institution integration is rather poor according to the respondents. They believed that the problem stems from the fact that already at the Ministry level the health care and social welfare systems are separated, which creates a similar pattern in the counties.

- The bigger hospitals have social workers, but there are still too few of them. The expectations on social workers are not so much related to professional consultancy but rather their contribution to help senior patients leave hospitals fast.

- The interdisciplinary services (making rehabilitation plans, geriatric evaluation) were unanimously regarded as essential. It was pointed out that there was no co-operation network between the specialists, no common databases and that their usage was not regulated.

As a conclusion it can be said that the counties social sphere executive officers regard it vital to significantly improve the co-operation between health care and social welfare, to create common databases and evaluation teams and to support the informal carers.

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