The municipal board’s decision to close the nursing home places at Gulskogen and Fredholt is invalid. This has been determined by the State Administrator in Oslo and Viken after carrying out a legality check of the decision, and thus the decision is revoked.
– We take note of the state administrator’s conclusion and will present the case for new political consideration. The question of nursing home places must be dealt with in the council for the elderly, the main committee for health, social care and care and the municipal council at the first opportunity, says mayor Monica Myrvold Berg in Drammen municipality.
Planning to implement the municipal council’s decision has been ongoing since the political processing, but this work is now on hold as the decision has been revoked. A new decision by the municipal council will determine how this matter is followed up further.
At the end of May, the municipal council dealt with a case about the financial situation within the service area of home services and institutions. In this connection, this decision was made:
- Home services will be strengthened by 3 million more than the councilor’s proposal.
- Gulskogen housing and service center is converted into a housing community for people with dementia and cognitive impairment. The conversion begins immediately.
- The operation of the 14 long-term places at Fredholt is being phased out. This is assessed based on soundness and the residents’ state of health. Intake of new residents at Fredholt housing and service center is stopped.
- The short-term places at Fredholt are being phased out, and users are offered alternative places.
- Upon liquidation, consideration is being given to converting Fredholt into care homes.
- The number of nursing home places is reduced by 33 places.
- Economic effects are described and incorporated in the 1st quarterly report 2022.
Some important clarifications:
- No employees lose their jobs
- No one loses their nursing home place
- At least the same number of short-term places/respite places for dementia as per 01.01.2022
As the case had not been considered in the ordinary way in the council for the elderly before it came to be considered in the main committee and the municipal council, the decision was appealed to the state administrator by the municipal council representatives Ulf Erik Knudsen (Frp), Trond Johansen (KrF), Gro Nyhus (Sp), Herman Ekle Lund (V), Rune Kjeldsen (SV), Jørgen Harboe Wilhelmsen (Red) and Anders Lunde (No to toll ring). They justified the demand for a legality check with the fact that the case had not been thoroughly investigated and pointed to the fact that the three statutory councils, including the Council for the Elderly, were not sent the case and were therefore not allowed to comment on the case.
They have now received support for this view from the state administrator, who writes to the municipality that for their part “… it seems clear that the matter has been inadequately investigated when the recommendations and input of the Council for the Elderly have not been obtained in this matter”.
The state administrator does not rule out that participation from the council for the elderly would have influenced the municipal council’s decision.
“We therefore conclude that the decision is invalid and revoke it. The municipal board must process the matter again,” writes the state administrator in his letter to Drammen municipality.
Going through the routines
– We would have liked to have avoided the state administrator revoking a decision from the municipal council, but when it has happened, it is natural that we go through all routines and learn from such cases. We will of course do that this time as well. For both administrative and political management in Drammen municipality, it is important that we ensure good routines for correct processing of the cases submitted for political processing and thorough follow-up of legality checks that are sent to the state administrator, says mayor Monica Myrvold Berg.
She emphasizes that the council for the elderly has been kept informed of the financial situation within the service area of home services and institutions and that they have been aware of the various measures that were considered to reduce the level of costs associated with these services.
– But the case should therefore have been presented to the Council of the Elderly for a statement ahead of the political consideration in the main committee and the municipal council in May. Unfortunately, that was not done, and therefore the decision has now been revoked, and we will deal with the case again, in all relevant bodies, says the mayor.