The Future Plan takes a step towards completion
In 2015, focus was on the preparations for the healthcare relocations to begin when New Karolinska Solna (NKS) will open at the end of 2016. The project is proceeding according to plan.
Renovations and modernisations have been under way at St. Göran Hospital, Danderyd Hospital, Södertälje Hospital, Sollentuna Hospital and Löwenströmska Hospital. New construction projects comply with energy conservation requirements that are around 35 per cent more stringent than the requirements set by the building rules of the Swedish National Board of Housing.
During the year, a change began in order for the County’s local urgent care clinics to become uniform in terms of offerings and service. The capacity of geriatrics was also increased and more patients received advanced care in the home (ASiH). These increases are a way of meeting the needs of the elderly in the population.
New phase for Metro expansion
During the year, the location studies were approved for all three extension routes: the Metro to Barkarby, the Metro to Arenastaden and the Metro to Nacka and Southern Stockholm. The work to prepare railway plans for the new Metro and environmental court applications has continued. The expansion of the Metro is the largest infrastructure investment since the current Metro was built.
Continued modernisation of public transport
In 2015, the bus network was updated in the inner-city and Lidingö. New and altered route sections began to apply in June. In October, the Lidingöbanan suburban railway reopened for service after extensive renovations. In 2015, changes were also planned in commuter rail and bus services so they better meet the needs of the growing County.
During the spring, the travel account was introduced to public marine transport. This means that the passengers can now buy tickets at both SL and Waxholmsbolaget with funds they have deposited in their travel account.
Prior to the summer season, a completely new boat line was also launched in the archipelago, the North-South Line. This line is a cross connection that ties together the outer archipelago, the whole way from north to south.
Migrant streams and preparedness in healthcare
In 2015, the number of asylum seekers increased sharply, mainly in the last months of the year. The number of children coming alone was large during certain weeks. According to the Swedish Migration Board, there were around 21,900 asylum seekers in Stockholm County on 31 December 2015, which is an increase of 78 per cent compared with 1 September 2015. Of them, around 5,000 were children coming alone. This presented healthcare services with new challenges. The capacity to provide health and medical care to asylum seekers was increased in the autumn and health examinations of asylum seeker increased sharply in the latter part of the year. At a few of the Migration Board’s larger housing centres, health exams were offered on site. Somatic and psychiatric support of the housing centres, especially the evacuation housing centres for children coming alone, was also increased. The County Council is being reimbursed by the state for the care of asylum seekers through special grants in 2015 and 2016.
Research and innovation
In 2015, the County Council drafted a new regional ALF agreement together with Karolinska Institutet. This covers both medical training and research and regulates how the state’s funding for medical training and clinical research may be used. Among other things, the agreement entails a new organisation for the collaboration on what is known as university healthcare.
The Stockholm Medical Biobank was inaugurated in October and will continue to be expanded in the next few years. Within strategic biobanking, the County Council is focusing on the four diagnoses covered by the 4D Programme: breast cancer, arthritis, type-2 diabetes and heart failure.
During the year, Stockholm County Council entered new cooperation agreements with Stockholm University and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The agreements entail new opportunities for research and education collaboration in social sciences and engineering within the County Council. The aim is to strengthen the County Council as a knowledge organisation and to involve all operations in research and development.
Growth and regional development
The Stockholm region continued to develop positively with a high employment rate in a national and international comparison, especially among women in the County. However, youth unemployment remains significant, as do the differences between different parts of the County. In 2015, the County’s population increased by 33,395 people. At year-end, the region had 2,231,439 residents. The number of newly started companies per resident continues to grow in the Stockholm region and is the highest in Sweden.
Total energy consumption in Stockholm County has decreased consistently in recent years, despite a strong population growth. Per resident, the Stockholm region also has low emissions of greenhouse gases. The trend for 2015 followed the same pattern as earlier years.
During the year, work intensified on preparing the next regional development plan for the Stockholm region, RUFS 2050. In 2016, consultations were planned regarding the region’s development in which a large number of stakeholders in the County will participate.
More active and clearer owner governance
As a part of creating better cost control, insight and more active governance of the County Council’s companies and committees, a new owner governance function was introduced after the 2014 election. The Parent Company, Landstingshuset i Stockholm AB (LISAB), has been given a more developed role. At the same time, the County Council Executive Board has been assigned employer responsibility for all administration and company managers. An owner’s committee has been formed under the County Council Executive Board Administration and the elected representatives in the owner’s committee are also Board members in LISAB. Procedures for financial follow-up and the boards’ roles and responsibilities are some of the areas on which light has been shed during the year with the aim of making the company’s governance clearer.