What has happened after the evaluation of university healthcare?

The National Board of Health and Welfare presented its evaluation of university healthcare (healthcare that is organised with particular consideration to research and education needs) in relation to structures and processes to the Government in March 2018. At the same time, the National Board also presented proposals for minimum levels for university healthcare. The evaluation was based on the national ALF agreement (agreement between the Swedish Government and certain county councils on collaboration in the training of physicians, clinical research and development of health and medical care). In the interview below, Helena von Knorring, project leader at the National Board of Health and Welfare, talks about the future work.

Helena von Knorring, Socialstyrelsen

How did the ALF evaluations in 2018 go, and what is the result?

We think they went well. We worked on the issues of organisation and implementation with great transparency and in collaboration with those involved in the ALF regions and the national steering group for the ALF agreement. It is important to enlist the competence that exists in the regions and in the steering group for the work on the evaluation and the result to be as good as possible. We had great response and engagement from from both the regional management bodies for ALF, and the then 202 university healthcare units. For example, we achieved a 100 per cent response rate to our questionnaires, which meant we had good documentation for the evaluation. We also visited 34 of the university healthcare units, who helped with preparations and received us for in-depth audit. Both the results of the audits and proposals for minimum levels were discussed at regional meetings and in other contexts. In our contact with the regions, we also heard that the results of the evaluation are being used in the continued development work in the regions, and that is after all the most important thing, that the evaluations are of benefit. What the regions have asked for is even more feedback to the regions, and we are planning to develop this ahead of next time. In the evaluation carried out, regional feedback was provided at the regional meetings in particular, while our report was written more on a national level.

During autumn, I travelled around the ALF regions together with Jeanette Johansen and Sara Aspengren at the Swedish Research Council to discuss the upcoming evaluations, and we were received with great engagement and had good discussions at these meetings, and obtained documentation for our future work. Our collaboration with the Swedish Research Council is working well, and we have also received good help, for example by the Office for ALF at the Swedish Research Council arranging joint meetings with the regions ahead of the evaluations and for follow-up once the evaluations were completed.

What are you working on right now?

To make things easier for the university healthcare units in the next evaluation round, we developed a new questionnaire for the university healthcare units ahead of the regional meetings held last autumn. The starting point was the minimum levels we had developed. We are now working on incorporating their views, and the updated questionnaire will soon also be tested on a few large and small university healthcare units before we finalise the questionnaire, so that everybody knows in good time what questions they are expected to respond to in the next evaluation. At the same time, we are developing the evaluation in its entirety based on proposals and view made to us, and we are doing this in consultation with the national steering group for ALF.

When will the next evaluation take place?

That is a bit uncertain; we are awaiting a new Government assignment. But we are planning to be prepared to start the next evaluation in January 2021, probably in parallel with the Swedish Research Council’s evaluations. It has been good for the regions to receive the results of the evaluations simultaneously.

Defitintion of university healthcare according to the ALF agreement

Healthcare that is organised with particular consideration to research and education needs.

Related information :

Interview with Jeanette Johansen, at the Office for ALF, about the Swedish Research Council’s evaluation of clinical research at the regions and universities covered by the ALF agreement