Reference Biberist

bonacasa’s networked solution has helped Biberist’s communal authorities improve care quality and cut costs


As the Läbesgarte cooperative project in Biberist shows, bonacasa makes it easy to integrate communal Spitex services into its service offering.

In Solothurn, every commune has to provide a basic Spitex package. To meet this duty of care, virtually every commune puts in place a service agreement with a provider, and this is authorised via an operating permit from the canton. Up until 2003, Spitex in Biberist was a medium-sized public-sector organisation which was operated as part of the communal administration, But in early 2004 the administration outsourced it. The decision was twofold: firstly, it was a financial decision, especially as up until 01.01.2008, AHV (Federal Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance) could only be administrated by private Spitex organisations. Secondly, the authorities wanted to take advantage of these organisational changes to optimise both their policy on ageing and their service offering.

The Läbesgarte cooperative project in Biberist has been delivering the Spitex service since 2004. The service agreement was concluded for an initial trial period of five years. The trial went so well that the communal council extended the agreement for a further two years starting from 03.11.2008. This two-year extension was also used to validate the structures (communal/Spitex committee, cooperative project/operating committee) and financing, and make any necessary adjustments based on requirements. In terms of concrete figures, the changeover enabled the authorities to reduce the annual Spitex deficit from CHF 467,052 in 2003 to CHF 164,000 in 2012. But merging Spitex with the Läbesgarte retirement and care home has delivered even more advantages: all care services are now delivered by a single organisation, to the benefit of service users and their families. There are no longer any conflicts of interest between the care home and Spitex. Leading-edge service offerings (mixed-form care home and Spitex packages) are easier to put in place and are provided at Biberist’s “bonacasa uno” and “bonacasa due” developments. Implementing prescribed quality standards is easier in a larger organisation. There are additional benefits in terms of administrative synergies. And lastly, for the communal authorities, it simplified the task of defining a coherent policy around ageing.

By taking this innovative step, the communal management teams and the Läbesgarte cooperation project have demonstrated that it is possible to merge Spitex and retirement/care homes in organisational terms and at the same time, find socially acceptable ways to cut communal costs.