University of Gothenburg

Implementation of person-centred care in Sweden

Information about ongoing work in Sweden to implement and enable a transition to person-centred care in Sweden.

Illustration from the Swedish government inquiry good quality local health care, showing traditional care versus good quality local health care.

In the last decade, individual regions, municipalities and health care settings in Sweden have worked in various ways to test and introduce person-centred care in all or part of their operations. In 2015, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) made a decision to work to enable person-centred care in municipalities and regions, and in 2016 the Swedish government appointed a state investigation Effective health care, which then led to another state investigation Coordinated development for a “good quality local health care” in 2017. An increased person-centering of health care emerged as central to the recommendations in the reports published in both of these investigations. The government is now working on proposals for a reform based on these investigations.

SALAR's decision and work to promote a person-centred care

In 2015, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) decided at their annual congress that they should work to disseminate knowledge and information about person-centred care in order to enable regions, counties and municipalities to implement person-centred care in their healthcare services.

The majority of Sweden's regions have decided to introduce person-centred care. This was reported in the survey that SALAR did that was published in a report in May 2018. SALAR now supports the development towards a “good quality local health care” and this work is led by Lisbeth Löpare Johansson.

Two governmental inquiries have investigated and developed proposals for solutions for improved future health care in Sweden. It is Efficient Care (SOU 2016: 2) led by Inquiry Chair Göran Stiernstedt and which led to Coordinated Development for a “good quality local health care” (S 2017: 01), which is led by Inquiry Chair Anna Nergårdh.

The main report for the latter investigation was released in April 2020. In the report it is proposed that primary care should be the hub of what is consistently called "a modern, person-centred and effective healthcare system". The biggest change recommended is that municipal care be included on equal terms in a single common health care system. This is supposed to result in a person-centred integrated care for each individual, which should be recorded in a patient contract. According to the report, this is estimated to take up to 10 years to implement.

Read more about this and find links to more information here.


The work of the Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis to create a more person-centred care

In November 2018, the Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis released the report From recipients to co-creators, a knowledge base for a more person-centred health care (only available in Swedish). This report aims to be a support for the entire health care system, from regions to departments, in the process of transferring to more person-centred care.

Several Swedish Regions now have web pages dedicated to their work with person-centred care. For example Region Västra Götaland, Dalarna Region and Skåne Region.