Moderate Party politician wants care-home ‘spies’

A local Moderate Party politician has called for the installation of undercover spies to patrol retirement homes to ensure that staff do their jobs, in the wake of a slew of recent scandals.

Moderate Party politician wants care-home 'spies'

“It is a question of vulnerable people who can’t speak for themselves. The reports of mistreatment that come to light are often difficult to prove,” Kalmar municipal councillor Magnus Isaksson told the the local Östran daily.

Isaksson suggested that the spies should be installed at facilities under the guise of employment as temporary staff. He argued that staff should be tasked with infiltrating operations and monitoring how the regular personnel do their jobs.

The Moderate Party politician has laid out his plan in a motion to the Kalmar municipal council, suggesting that a couple of weeks would be the right time-frame in order to compile an adequate clandestine report.

The call comes a few weeks after revelations of mistreatment at the Smedängen care home in Kalmar, although Isaksson underlined that his proposal is not specifically directed at the home.

“This occurs in other areas of society,” he said.

Isaksson compared his proposal to the “mystery shopper” programmes operated by retail chains where undercover customers seek to compile reports on how staff work and greet customers.

He accepted that his proposal could be considered controversial.

“But it would have an effect. Just the thought that there could be someone keeping a check would get people to pull themselves together,” he told the newspaper.

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Sweden earmarks billions for elderly care boost

In the wake of a series of elderly care scandals in Sweden where one negligence allegation followed the next, the government on Thursday pledged to invest 4.3 billion kronor ($617 million) over the next few years to ”develop care for the most vulnerable elderly”.

Sweden earmarks billions for elderly care boost

”We’re talking about a group of people that are among those most in need of help in society today, and we know this group will increase,” minister for health and social affairs, Göran Hägglund, said at a press conference on Thursday.

The government and the the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) on Thursday came to an agreement on how to develop care for the elderly in Sweden.

The municipalities will still carry the chief responsibility for elderly care, but they will receive remuneration based on performance.

”Money will be paid out when you make changes and improvements,” said Hägglund.

Out of the earmarked funds, 70 percent will go to the municipalities while 30 percent goes to the county councils, which have primary responsibility for administering Sweden’s public health care system.

According to Hägglund, the agreement between the municipalities and county councils will remove previous boundaries which made cooperation difficult.

The government also wants to make it easier for the elderly to influence the care they receive.

According to the governmental coordinator for the elderly, Eva Nilsson Bågenholm, the government is hoping that the agreement will change how the work is currently being carried out.

“There will be a development coordinator in each county. We are investing in education and quality registries for the elderly,“ she told news agency TT.

Nilsson Bågenholm added that the agreement might mean that the need for institutional care, even in the case of dementia patients, will decrease as Sweden invests more into preventative measures.

Over the next 12 months, 1.1 billion kronor from the budget will be earmarked for this purpose.

“The financial incentives that have been agreed on today will be another force to improve care of the elderly. The health care needs to be better at providing the individual with the care and treatment that the patient needs,” said Anders Knape of SALAR in a statement.