Dutch self-managed community nursing system could be adopted in Scotland

 Buurtzorg district nursing model credited with improving continuity of care

The Scottish government is looking at applying an innovative model of district nursing from The Netherlands.

Representatives of the government and RCN Scotland travelled to see the nurse-led Buurtzorg system in action. 

The model is based on small, self-managing teams of nurses and allied health professionals providing co-ordinated home care for specific catchment areas, normally for 40-60 patients.  

The model began in a team of four nurses, and has been adopted internationally, with 9,000 professionals using the system in Sweden, Japan and the United States as well as The Netherlands. 

RCN Scotland associate director Ellen Hudson said one of the interesting aspects of the model was the teams appear to improve continuity of nursing care. 

She said: 'The result was fewer agencies visited the patient and co-ordination of care was improved. In Scotland, the chief nursing officer is reviewing district nursing so this was a useful visit to see if there are elements that could be tested here.’

Further reading from the RCNi archive

Neighbourhood scheme transforms services
Jos de Blok explains how front line staff are challenging the traditional management model and taking the lead on introducing new practice and quality initiatives.
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‘We are in control’
District nurses in the Netherlands provide every aspect of care for their patients and don’t have any managers. Erin Dean reports.
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Netherlands district staff turn their backs on bureaucracy
Jennifer Sprinks explores a community nursing service that has abandoned management structures, empowering nurses and enabling them to offer better integrated care.
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