2018 was characterised by a high rate of development. In June 2018, the Swedish Parliament decided that Stockholm County Council would be allowed to form a region and take over responsibility for regional development from the County Administrative Board.
Large investments were made in both healthcare and public transport during 2018. This was possible while maintaining balanced finances, according to the annual report for 2018, which has been adopted by the Regional Assembly.
Stockholm County Council has reported an annual surplus since 2007. The surplus for the full year 2018 was SEK 2,171 million before transition costs, which is SEK 41 million higher than the previous year. The surplus after transition costs amounted to SEK 1,383 million.
The overall result of the County Council Group provides the conditions for the planned expansion and upgrade of the infrastructure in both healthcare and public transport to continue.
"Region Stockholm is showing a positive result at the same time as extensive changes have been implemented. This shows that Region Stockholm has the ability to handle major changes in a complex organisation. The result is a prerequisite for Region Stockholm to cope with the large investments that lie ahead. These are investments in public transport as well as healthcare and also partly within the framework of new assignments we have as Region Stockholm. It is always important for operations to keep to budgets and to work on both development and efficiency in different ways. The coming years will be no exception," says Regional Director Carina Lundberg Uudelepp.
The implementation of the Future Plan for Health and Medical Care continued during the year. An important part of this is the introduction of a new care structure for emergency care and patient guidance.
The new structure for emergency care includes five forms of care: 1177 Healthcare Guide, GP clinics, local urgent care centres, emergency wards and an emergency critical care centre that opened at Karolinska University Hospital in May 2018. The ongoing introduction of local urgent care centres has meant that a total of nine out of ten local urgent care centres are now in operation, with the tenth planned to open in 2020.
By clearly guiding the region's residents to the right form of care according to need, Region Stockholm and all healthcare providers can together provide patients with the care that they need. Close cooperation between all healthcare providers and all forms of care creates a robust healthcare system in the county.
In 2018, more patients saw a GP or specialist within the care guarantee limit than in 2017. Stockholm County Council also has a larger percentage of patients who receive care within the limits of the care guarantee than the national average. The annual report for 2018 shows that the prescription of antibiotics has decreased more than in the rest of the country. The reduction was greatest for children and young people
The number of visits within obstetrics amounted to 110,900, which was an increase of 3.4% compared with the previous year. The total number of babies delivered was 26,600, which is a fall of 0.2%. In total, 93.7% of births at obstetrics clinics were at the first-choice clinic.
Travel by public transport increased during 2018. On an average weekday, there were 2,814,000 boardings. The proportion of satisfied passengers on public transport was 80%, exceeding the target for 2018.
Several large investments are being made in public transport in order to provide environmentally friendly, punctual and accessible travel in a growing county. Examples include the expansion of the Metro and tramway and the upgrading of both the Roslagsbanan and the Red Line. Three self-driving vehicles have been launched in Barkarbystaden. During the year, work was completed on the Spårväg City tramway from Kungsträdgården to T-Centralen. The last buses to be powered using non-renewable fuels have been phased out and bus services are now 100% fossil free.
Commuting by ferry has also increased. Travel using the archipelago services increased with the trial to allow some SL tickets to be used for travel on archipelago services during the spring and autumn of 2018. In addition, Line 89 Ekerö had more boardings and the route has now been made permanent.
The Culture Committee is responsible for the objective Free culture for experiences, meetings, education and participation.
An overwhelming proportion of the external cultural support provided, 72%, went to activities for children and young people.
The Future Plan for Health and Medical Care stipulates that 1–2% of investments in construction are to be used for artistic design and this was the case. Nine investments in art appropriations were completed during the year and the art appropriation amounted on average to 1.4% of the investment expenditure.
The Culture Committee also collaborated closely with the county's municipalities during the year in order to strategically coordinate the county's cultural and club activities.
Growth and regional planning
The Growth and Regional Planning Committee has worked with the County Council Executive Board ahead of the development of the County Council into Region Stockholm in 2019. Collaboration has taken place with municipalities, academic institutions and business during the year.
In June 2018, the County Council Assembly adopted a new regional development plan for the Stockholm region, RUFS 2050. The plan, which has been developed in consultation with the region's stakeholders, sets out guiding principles for land use in Stockholm County, targets with measurable milestones and priorities for the development of the region.
Region Stockholm is continuing its work to achieve the ambitious goals of the Environmental Programme 2017–2021. Here are some examples:
Emissions of climate-impacting medical gases have fallen by almost 40%, which is in line with targets. Since 2011, the climate impact has been reduced by over 40%. Region Stockholm is therefore well placed to achieve the target of a 50% reduction by the year 2021. Increasing the proportion of renewable energy and the energy efficiency of properties has reduced the direct climate impact. The proportion of organic food in patient meals has been increased to 41%, which is 1 percentage point above the target.
Region Stockholm is also working to reduce the climate impact of building and construction projects related to the expansion of public transport and healthcare buildings. Many of the public investments that Region Stockholm makes in healthcare and public transport take place using what are called green bonds. This means that the money Region Stockholm borrows must be used to finance a range of environmental projects.
On 1 January, Stockholm County Council became a region and is now called Region Stockholm. The annual report for 2018 relates to the region's former name, Stockholm County Council.