Valvira orders Esperi Care to fix problems at residential homes for elderly people

The authorities have set a deadline for required changes to be made and could issue fines if conditions aren't brought up to scratch.

File photo of woman holding elderly woman's hand / Credit; iStock Photo

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira, has issued a ‘control order’ which allows it to demand that Esperi Care Oy correct inadequacies in their elderly care facilities.

It’s the first time such an order has been issued in Finland under the Act on Private Social Services, and although Esperi says it has already taken measures to improve conditions at its elderly care homes, Valvira says that “given the severity and extent of the shortcomings” they “cannot reliably assess the adequacy of the measures taken”.

During the period 2016 to 2019, problems were identified at several of Esperi’s elder care facilities that Valvira says “seriously compromise customer safety”.

A series of scandals involving care for the elderly at Esperi and other facilities were exposed in the media earlier this year; and the issue of how to care for Finland’s increasingly elderly population became one of the most-discussed topics during the general election campaign

“There were a lot of complaints at different units. We don’t say that every unit is bad but we hope that Esperi Care does the necessary things and checks all the units to make sure these required changes are made. We also hope that other providers of elderly care check their own services as well” says Elina Uusitalo, Senior Adviser at Valvira.

The authority says there were issues with having too few staff on duty in relation to the needs of patients, and that regional government agencies received reports of poor administration at the Esperi Care facilities as well.

Valvira says all the changes which need to be made by Esperi must happen by the end of July.

“If they don’t make the changes, then we give them fines” Elia Uusitalo tells News Now Finland.