The Consolidation act on Social Services constitutes the main framework of Danish senior policy. As provided in the act every Danish citizen is entitled to services free of charge if they are in need. Social care services are financed through taxes.
According to the act all decisions concerning help to elderly people should be made as individual and concrete decisions by the municipality. The system of care-services is thereby decentralised with the legal responsibility for ensuring the elderly both practical and personal help placed at the local government level.
It is the municipalities who pay for the services through local taxes and block grants from the state, set the standards of help and decide how much help a person is entitled to, based on the individual need.
This homepage is a part of the implementation of danish policy on home care services.
The free choice reform
Until a new legislation called “greater choice of provider” was decided upon in the Parliament in 2002, local municipalities were the only providers of home care for the elderly. The new act aims at securing elderly people, who receive home care services, the freedom to choose between different providers, the option of changing the help they receive from time to time and the possibility of moving to another municipality.
A major effect of the law has been to make way for increased transparency and clear separation between the level of authority and the level of provider. This will not only cause consciousness about the costs involved – and the link between cost and level of service – it has also invoked an enhanced follow-up system of the level of service.
Home care services
The fundamental principles of Danish home care is that it should be offered on the basis of individual needs and that it is free of charge – except temporary help which has an income dependent user charge. The goal of the help offered is to allow elderly people to stay in their own homes as long as possible and to prevent the individual from further loss of physical and mental health. This means to help people in their own homes even when they need help to clean the house or get out of bed in the morning. All help according to the act on social service has to be seen in relation with the fundamental idea of “help to self-help”. Today around 200.000 people receive permanent home care services with a number of care hours between 1,0 and 1,1 mill. being delivered every week to 25 pct. of all citizens aged 67 and above.
The local council is required to set up and publish so-called quality standards. The standards publish the quality and price requirements made to all suppliers of personal and practical assistance. The quality standard must not only ensure providers information about the services, but also allow the citizens to fully know their rights in relation to the local authority. The quality of the standards and the actual services provided for the elderly must of course meet the requirements conditioned in the act on social services.
The quality standard and the operational goals, including the quality requirements made to the supplier, are tools which can ensure agreement between the policy goals, the actual exercise of authority and the service provider. According to the rules, at least once a year the local council is required to prepare a quality standard and follow up on the quality and management of the assistance.
Aim of www.fritvalgsdatabasen.dk
This homepage make the transparency of both quality standards and costs of delivering home care services. All danish municipalities should here upload their quality standards and cost prices. It's possible for both citizens, private providers and other municipalities to compare the services in the different parts of Denmark. It's also possible to make statistical tables based on the information in this database.