Hearings and citizen survey 2000
During the spring 2000, the government concluded four national hearings concerning the quality of welfare. Citizens, interest groups, employees in the public sector and politicians expressed their opinions about problems and challenges in the sectors of care for the elderly, health, family and schools as well as the inclusive labour market. The national hearings have since been followed by a number of regional hearings.
Facts about the hearings
- The hearing about quality in care for the elderly was held in Copenhagen on March 2nd. Approximately 300 persons participated.
- The hearing about quality in the health care sector was held in Odense on March 31st. Approximately 250 persons participated.
- The hearing about family and school was held in Aarhus on April 25th. Approximately 270 persons participated.
- The hearing about the inclusive labour market was held in Aalborg on May 24th. Approximately 400 persons participated.
The national hearings were followed by 21 regional hearings all over the country. A total of approximately 3,200 persons participated in the 21 regional hearings.
In addition to the hearings, the government has concluded a citizen survey about the level of satisfaction with the four welfare sectors.
Among other things, the survey presents some of the answers to what it is that makes users either satisfied or dissatisfied with hospitals, home help, kindergartens etc.
Facts about the elaborate interviews with citizens and users of public services.
The interviews were held in March. There were 12 group and 7 individual interviews. A total of 91 persons participated.
The persons who participated in the interviews were divided into 5 main groups:
- The general population
- Users of care for senior citizens
- Users of child care
- Users of health care
- Users of social services
The interviews were conducted by the Gallup Institute A/S.
In order to obtain a solid foundation for the survey, selected citizens were first asked to elaborately express their attitude towards and experiences with the quality of public services.
Based on the results of these elaborate interviews, 3,000 citizens were subsequently interviewed over the telephone about their view on public services.
Facts about the interviews with 3,000 citizens
The interviews were held over the telephone from June 13th through June 30th.
The interviewed persons were chosen representatively, i.e. they represent the Danish community as a whole with regard to address, age, gender and income.
The interviews were conducted by PLS-Rambøll Management
A survey, which was concluded in April 2000, has been included as a supplement to the hearing about the inclusive labour market. In this survey 1,025 companies were asked to express their attitude towards and experiences with the system of public salary subsidies.
Facts about the company survey
The survey was concluded in the spring of 2000. 1,025 companies were interviewed over the telephone about administrative barriers in connection with employment of persons with public salary subsidies. The survey also included elaborate interviews with chosen companies. The survey was concluded by the The Danish Commerce and Companies Agency and The Danish Technological Institute for "The Committee on social provisos" and published in April 2000 with the title "Administrative barriers for companies when employing persons with salary subsidies".
What did they say?
The results of hearings and citizen survey
Focus on the "soft" values
The four national hearings in the spring of 2000 and the subsequent regional hearings all generally pointed towards a focus on the "soft" values in all major areas of public services. At the same time, participants attached importance to management and a qualified and committed staff as being essential to good quality.
Citizens are satisfied with public services
The interviews show that citizens are generally satisfied with public services. Eight per cent are very satisfied and 53 per cent are satisfied. Only nine per cent are dissatisfied and three per cent are very dissatisfied.
Citizens level of satisfaction with public services
Wide support to the welfare state
The Danes have elected a welfare model with a relatively high level of taxing. In return, the public sector offers a wide range of services such as child care, hospitals, education etc.
Consequently, the quality of public services determines whether citizens are willing to pay high taxes or not. The survey shows that citizens are satisfied with the present tax burden and level of services. A vast majority do not want a tax reduction if the result is a lower level of services. At the same time though, the citizens do not want to pay higher taxes to obtain a higher level of public services.
Citizens evaluation of taxes and services
The reputation of public services
The survey throws light on the reputation of public services as well as specific experiences of the users. The reputation is evaluated by users as well as citizens without personal experiences where as only users have specifically evaluated the quality of their childrens school, the hospital, the home help etc.
The reputation of public services
Explanation to figure
A value of three corresponds to an average contentment. A value above three corresponds to an average satisfaction of the citizens, and the closer to five, the higher the level of satisfaction. A value below three corresponds to an average dissatisfaction of the citizens, and the closer to one, the higher the level of dissatisfaction.
The citizens who are also users within a certain area of public services are generally more positive in their evaluation of the reputation of the specific area of services than citizens with no personal experiences of the quality in that area. This is particularly true when it comes to home help services. Here users are much more positive than persons with no personal experiences with home help.
Users are satisfied with received services
Users are generally satisfied with all services included in the survey.
Users evaluate their experiences with received services more positively than the general quality within that service area. Senior citizens, for instance, are more satisfied with their own home help than they are with the service area as such.
The reason for this may be that even though a person has received satisfactory services he or she has heard or read that not everybody receives the same quality of help in other places.
Although most users are satisfied with public services, there are still areas with too many dissatisfied users. Improvements in these areas are therefore necessary. The hearings and the citizen survey have been concluded precisely to obtain a better idea of exactly which areas need improvement of quality.
The users level of satisfaction in areas of public services
Below are the main results from the inquiries into the level of satisfaction of the users in main areas of public services.
Child care and schools
- Generally, parents are satisfied with the educational content and the staff.
- Parents are less satisfied with payment and the information about waiting time. The parents also express a certain discontent with the physical environment such as interior climate and the amount of space. The physical environment, however, is not essential to the degree of satisfaction as a whole.
- The educational content is of crucial importance to the total level of satisfaction of the parents when they evaluate the school and child care services for their children.
Parents level of satisfaction with child care and schools
Rest homes and home help
- The residents of rest homes and their relatives are satisfied with the physical environment, the quality of the food and the respect of the staff, but not with the amount of time reserved for social interaction.
- The level of care is of crucial importance to the residents of rest homes as well as their relatives, and most of the interviewed persons express satisfaction in this area. However, one out of four is not satisfied with the level of care.
- The users of home help express the highest degree of dissatisfaction with the amount of time reserved for social interaction. On the other hand, the users of home help are very satisfied with the observance of appointments.
- As is the case with the residents of rest homes, the users of home help attach crucial importance to the level of care. Most of the users are satisfied with the level of care, but one out of ten is dis-satisfied.
Satisfaction of senior users and their relatives with home help services and rest homes
- Users are greatly satisfied with the level of treatment received by general practitioners and hospital staffs. This is true when it comes to medical treatment as well as general care. Users express a little less satisfaction with emergency medical treatment than with the hospitals and general practitioners.
- Users are least satisfied with the waiting time at hospitals and the possibility to get in touch with general practitioners on the phone.
- Medical treatment as well as general care, are of crucial importance to users of hospitals, emergency services and general practitioners.
The level of satisfaction of patients and their relatives with health care
The inclusive labour market
- Companies lack knowledge of the possibilities of employing persons in jobs with public salary subsidies.
- The companies think that there are too many different systems to choose from.
- Companies, which have experiences in employing persons with public salary subsidies, are satisfied with the cooperation of public authorities.
- They point out, however, that the cooperation of public authorities can be improved.
The social services departments
The general level of satisfaction with the social services departments varies a lot.
- Users are generally satisfied with the cooperation of staff members. On the other hand, users are not very satisfied with the level of information from the employees who are responsible for their case.
- The level of information as well as the cooperation of staff members, are crucial to the level of user-satisfaction.