Address of the appointed CEO Hilda Elísabetar Pétursdóttir

The year 2023, like the previous year, was eventful at the Vestfjörður Health Institute.

Most notably, Gylfi Ólafsson, who had been CEO since 2018, resigned and left in October. I was appointed director by letter from the minister from October 16 until a new director was appointed, who started work on March 1, 2024.

The staffing issues took up a lot of space, as in previous years. In particular, it was among nurses and doctors, but some stability among other professions.
As before, the organization's finances are a major challenge, but ways are constantly being sought to achieve efficiency in operations through increased restraint, increased cost awareness and technological innovations. Before the budget increase law and other transfers came into being, the operation was headed for a deficit of more than 300 million ISK. Such additional funding that comes in is based on the understanding and goodwill of the government is important to maintain the services that are required by law. As has been the case in recent years, a large part of the deficit can be attributed to the underfunding of nursing homes.

The Vestfjörður Health Institute is extremely fortunate when it comes to the community's kindness towards it. Many gifts were given to the organization, both large and small in the form of tools, equipment and monetary donations. Enjoying such kindness from individuals, companies, non-profit organizations and society as a whole is invaluable to the profession. We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the gifts and the warmth behind it.

Taking over the reel for a few months was learning, challenging and fun at the same time. It was interesting to look at the operation of the Vestfjörður Health Institute from a different perspective than I had previously done in my work as a professional manager. But what stands out is the great human resources that the organization possesses, the work ethic, the cohesion and the affection towards the organization and its well-being as well as the society as a whole.

Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir, appointed CEO

Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir appointed CEO from October 2023 to March 1, 2024

CEO change

Gylfi Ólafsson, who had been the director of the Vestfjörður Health Foundation since July 2018, and thus ended his five-year term in 2023, sent a letter to the Minister of Health requesting his resignation. Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir, director of nursing, was appointed director from October 16, 2023 to March 1, 2024, and Rannveig Björnsdóttir, head of the hospital department, was director of nursing until a new director was appointed. Gylfi was a successful manager and well liked by all the staff. Gylfi said in his farewell letters:

"The time at the institute has been extremely fun and educational. I have been well received by everyone inside and outside the organization, including at the beginning when I started working rather young and with little experience in the health system and management.

A lot has been achieved in the last five years. The results of a survey about the institution of the year have been the highest for us for two years in a row, when compared with sister institutions, but the institution was the lowest in this comparison in 2018. We have made considerable changes to unite the institution into a single entity, making communication within the institution more efficient , put into use numerous computer systems, set up a psychiatric team, bought three large imaging devices and renovated surgery and accident rooms, trained field staff, took a firmer grip on document handling, reissued annual reports and held annual meetings, implemented equal pay certification and personal protection, implemented a new look and made other internal changes that are too long to trace. Then the response to the covid epidemic marks a deep mark in the history of the last five years.
Of course, not everything has gone as planned. The institution has been running at a significant deficit, housing could be better, and staffing is a constant challenge, especially on the medical staff.

The main point, however, is this: The real goal of the organization's operation is to provide diverse and quality health care, and it has succeeded. Health care has provided more and faster services. The maternity and surgical services are intact even though the boat has been hit and the conditions are often difficult. The staff is great.

Minister of Health ordered Lúðvík Þorgeirsson CEO for five years from March 1, 2024.

Annual report 2023

The results for the year were headed for a deficit of over 300 million ISK, which is about 8% of turnover. This deficit can primarily be attributed to underfunding in the nursing field. With additional funding, the situation was turned around and the year ended with a positive result of ISK 58.6 million. Fees increased between years by 374 million or over 10%. At the same time, income increased a little more or about 412 million ISK or 11%. Inflation in 2023 was almost 9% on average.

The weight of labor costs was 70.7% and labor costs increased by 217 million between years or by 8.4%. The average number of full-time positions is 226.7. The weight of other operating expenses was 28% and increased by 152 million or 16%. The increase can primarily be attributed to product purchases, travel and accommodation costs due to replacements, and specialist services. The year's investments amounted to 117 million.
Elísabet Samúelsdóttir CFO.

Good to grow old

The Vestfjörður Health Institute together with five local authorities, Bolungarvíkurkaupstað, Ísafjörðarbær, Súðavíkurhrepp, Tálknafjörður and Vesturbyggð will participate in a development project that aims to integrate social and health services for elderly people in their homes. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Labor Market and the Ministry of Health advertised this summer for such cooperation with local authorities and health institutions. There was a lot of interest and a total of 19 applications were received. A total of 22 municipalities and six health institutions across the country are participating in the project, which is divided into six regions.

The development projects are part of the action plan Getting older, but tempt the government to better integrate state and local government services with older people in a new way.

New nursing director at Patreksfjörður

A new nursing director started working at Patreksfjörður in May. Gerður Rán Freysdóttir flew south and Hrafnhildur Ólöf Ólafsdóttir took over. Hrafnhildur is a nurse and came to the organization after working as head of the department for the homeless in Reykjavík. She has diverse experience working in the health and welfare system.

Changes to the cleaning system

Cleaning is handled by the organization's staff at all establishments outside Ísafjörður. The company Massi thrif has done part of the cleaning on Ísafjörður under a contract that goes back to the turn of the century. There was reason to review the arrangements that had been made, and the contract with Massa cleaning was therefore terminated in the month of 2023 with the effective date of termination on August 31. Subsequently, cleaning in the main building and Eyri were tendered together, in accordance with the law on public procurement. Government procurement assisted in the preparation of the tender. One offer was received, from Sólar. It met all the conditions of the tender and was considerably below the organization's budget. At that time, the company already performed sanitary cleaning for, among others, Landspítala Fossvogi and numerous nursing homes.

Sólar took over the cleaning on October 1. The cleaning department in the previous form was closed down and the change was well presented in time to the staff and representatives of the Vestfjörður Trade Union. The division's staff were all invited to relocate for work, and the human resources manager managed solutions that suited each of them.

A new CT scanner

A new CT scanner was put into use in May. The old device had been in use at the institute for well over a decade, and over a thousand CT scans were taken on it a year. In 2022, a condition was received from the government to start a needs analysis and a tender process for the purchase of a new device. Heilíríðsstofnun Vestfjarða and the Hospital in Akureyri jointly led a large tender for CT scanners that will be installed in several locations in the country. GE's Revolution Ascend model was both the cheapest and the best.

The new device is extremely complete and will greatly modernize imaging, plus a subscription to the manufacturer's ongoing software development is included.

Operating room construction completed

The operating room was closed from May 23 – June 19 in order to complete construction that began many seasons ago but had been delayed due to, among other things, disruptions in supply chains and uncertainty due to the pandemic. During this closure, maternity services could not be maintained and all surgical services had to be moved to other hospitals in the meantime.

Now the emergency department, operating room, recovery and staff facilities are all more modern.

Management course

Every organization's human capital is extremely valuable, and continuing education, education and training are an important part of the organization's staffing. Many employees attended various courses, training and conferences, but the most important thing to mention is that the educational and training company Kvan was hired for manager leadership training. About 25 managers participated, focusing on strengths, leadership, coaching, teamwork, morale, culture and more. Managers received practical tools that are useful to them in their work and there was great satisfaction among managers with these courses. With this, we want to support managers and build a strong and cohesive team.

Part of the management in September 2023. From left: Svala Björk Einarsdóttir, Gestur Elíasson, Súsanna Björg Ástvaldsdóttir, Sigurgeir Sigurgeirsson, Ursula Siegle, Kristín Greta Bjarnadóttir, Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir, Þórunn Pálsdóttir, Hanna Þóra Hauksdóttir, Sigríður Lára Gunnlaugsdóttir, Gylfi Ólafsson, Auður Dóra. Franklin, Auður Helga Ólafsdóttir, Heiða Björk Ólafsdóttir, Rannveig Björnsdóttir and Elísabet Samúelsdóttir.

Strategy of the Vestfjörður Health Foundation 2020–23

In 2020, a lot of strategic work was done for the organization. The strategy has been important in the development of the business. It was decided that the organization's values chosen by employees 20 years earlier were still in full force; "Respect - Cooperation - Trust - Positivity" Work on the new strategy will begin in the autumn months.

Welfare technology

In 2023, the agency implemented the Evondos drug dispenser. Medicine dispensers are a revolutionary welfare technology that is particularly useful in telehealth services. Evondos is an automatic medicine dispenser and is suitable for people who live at home but need daily or more frequent help and follow-up when taking medicine. Their introduction supports people's independent and longer residence in their own homes, improves the quality of services and ensures that individuals are given safe and correct medication at the appointed time. Conventional medicine rolls are placed in the medicine dispenser and the device reads the information on each medicine bag and dispenses the right medicine at the right time. Six medicine dispensers were put into use. Home nursing selects those clients who could possibly use the medicine dispensers according to certain instructions, keeping the skills and abilities of their clients in mind. The medicine dispensers are very promising and staff as well as clients are happy with this addition to the service.

Contingency plan and flight accident drill at Bíldudals airport

In April, a plane crash exercise was held at Bíldudals airport, organized by Isavia. The aim of such exercises is to maintain and sharpen the response when necessary and to coordinate the responders in the area. Rescue teams, the fire brigade, ambulance personnel, police, the Red Cross, the Vestfjörður Health Center and Isavia participated in the exercise. A total of 80 people participated in the exercise and it went well. There was a good rhythm in the cooperation of all responders. Exercises of this type are for calling out problems and looking at what can be done better.

The agency's first response plan for the southern region was subsequently completed. The plan must take into account the staffing and infrastructure available in the area.

Agreement on the services of specialized personnel in health care

An agreement to ensure the necessary staffing of specialized hospital staff in the health districts of Vestfjörður and Austurland was signed by the Ministry of Health in December. There, the CEOs of the respective institutions, together with the Minister of Health, signed the agreement. The agreement is part of an increased emphasis on the integration of the healthcare system across institutions.

Good employees, goodbye and thanks for the good work

In 2023, we thanked five employees who were retiring due to age for their good work for the benefit of the organization and its clients. They have all worked for us for a long time, the longest being over 40 years. We have been extremely lucky to have benefited from their work force all these years and we thank them very much.
They were Halldóra Magnúsdóttir, a paramedic, Jóhanna Guðrún Þórðardóttir, a paramedic, Jóhann Króknes Torfason, a purchasing manager, Þóra Hansdóttir, a social worker, and Anna Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir, a biomedical scientist.

From left: Jóhann Króknes Torfason, Þóra Hansdóttir, Jóhanna Guðrún Þórðardóttir, Halldóra Magnúsdóttir and Gylfi Ólafsson.

From left: Anna Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir and Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir

Seventy in special education doctors visiting Ísafjörður

In May, about 70 students in a special program in family medicine came on a study and familiarization trip to Ísafjörður.
The study day included micro-courses in minor surgery, orthopaedics, ultrasound, joint replacements and health care in the Westfjords. In addition, the goal of the trip was for the group to get to know each other, but the specialist doctors work all over the country, including one in Ísafjörður. There has been a large increase in the number of students in special studies in family medicine in recent years, and there is no shortage of them.

In the attached photo, the group is at the old hospital in Ísafjörður. In the middle is Elínborg Bárðardóttir, the teaching director.

Executive Committee 2023

Updated 24 May 2024 (HEP)

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