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“One step forward, two steps back?”

The European Expert Group (EEG) on the transition from institutional to community-based care have released the final version of the “Report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States”. The study marks 10 years since EU-Commissioner Vladimir Špidla appointed the publication of a similar report focused on the issues of institutional care reform and aimed at finding solutions for more humane, person-centred, and individualised models of care.

The negative aspects of institutionalisation, such as the aggregation of many vulnerable people in one closed environment, have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic: persons with disabilities or suffering from underlying conditions are more at risk of contracting the virus, which is more likely to be severe or deadly for them.

The EEG report’s findings highlight “key concerns and potential solutions”, such as:

  • The provision of person-centred care benefits users because of its quality and of the way support is provided.
  • There is insufficient feedback concerning the experiences of residential institutions’ residents.
  • The high costs of community-based and social housing are one of the main barriers preventing community living in almost of EU Member States.
  • “Small-scale” residential institutions actually host large groups of people.
  • Many Member States tend to delegate responsibility of the deinstitutionalisation process to the EU.

Read “Report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States” here.