Developing health and welfare services as a participatory process with customers in Oulu
In the autumn of 2013 the City of Oulu health and welfare services started creating a new approach to organizing high-quality services throughout the city. The aim is to create a customer-oriented operating model for wellbeing centres that adapts to the needs of the area and the population. The planning of the model began in the areas of Kiiminki, Yli-Ii and Ylikiiminki.
The new operating model was processed with the tools of service design together with the customers and the personnel. The local residents participated closely in the planning and dialogue with them was an important part of the preparatory work. One of the working methods was a process that allowed for an active participation of the residents, carried out in cooperation with the Effective neighbourhood services and InnoVillage projects of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
The Association became involved in the preparation to strengthen the customer perspective and also to test the Luotain (Probe) tool they had developed. Together we organized a resident’s workshop where we invited 32 local residents, people in different life situations from the areas of Kiiminki, Yli-Ii and Ylikiiminki. In the workshop the participants were familiarized with the use of the Luotain tool and with the use of a service diary. A group of residents were filling in the service diary and with the help of the diary we could get information about the services the municipal residents had used during a period of two weeks. With the help of needs-assessment based customer segmentation we were able to identify customer profiles by area. The work was continued on the basis of the identified profiles in a workshop in January 2014 using the participatory budgeting method. The residents and elected officials were given a partly imaginary budget and they planned how to use the money for services in their area through their own views and values.
The end result of the preparation was an operating model for wellbeing centres that do not just mean a physical building or any particular services, but it is a broader principle of organizing the services with the help of several actors, in cooperation with the different sectors of the city, with private parties and with the third sector. The operating model focuses on prevention, early support and the responsibility of the municipal residents. In wellbeing centres and wellbeing points there are different level services that vary depending on the needs of the customers and the circumstances in the area.