News

Nurses in Suffolk to trial Buurtzorg community care model

Community nurses are invited to join a team which is trialling a Dutch-inspired model of care.
nurse making home visit

Community nurses are invited to join a team trialling a Dutch care model.

Buurtzorg neighbourhood care in English is a nurse-led organisation set up in the Netherlands in 2006 to promote integrated health and social care. Its distinctive feature is it gives nurses the power to enable patients to retain as much independence and autonomy as possible.

Now West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is seeking nurses and nursing assistants to be among the first to test the model in the UK.

Executive chief nurse Rowan Procter explained: To begin with, we are looking to recruit four full-time nurses.

Regular review

We aim to adhere as closely as possible to the Buurtzorg model, to test this way of nursing in the community. However, it will be regularly reviewed, and in

Community nurses are invited to join a team trialling a Dutch care model.


The Buurtzorg ideal aims to promote patients' independence Photo: iStock

Buurtzorg – ‘neighbourhood care’ in English – is a nurse-led organisation set up in the Netherlands in 2006 to promote integrated health and social care. Its distinctive feature is it gives nurses the power to enable patients to retain as much independence and autonomy as possible.

Now West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is seeking nurses and nursing assistants to be among the first to test the model in the UK.

Executive chief nurse Rowan Procter explained: ‘To begin with, we are looking to recruit four full-time nurses.

Regular review

‘We aim to adhere as closely as possible to the Buurtzorg model, to test this way of nursing in the community. However, it will be regularly reviewed, and in practice we may want to implement changes and improvements along the way.’

The trust, alongside Suffolk Community Healthcare, NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and two local authorities, reviewed Buurtzorg and found it received high patient satisfaction levels and accounted for 30% fewer A&E visits.

Prevention is key

Ms Procter added: ‘Buurtzorg’s care package is focused on the patient’s holistic needs and enabling their independence. It is about shifting the emphasis from reactive care to prevention and self-care, something we think is integral and will fit in well with our outlook here in West Suffolk.

‘We know many people would prefer to remain in their own familiar environment when unwell or managing a condition and through this model we can help coach individuals and families to maintain their health and wellbeing.’

Buurtzorg was reviewed last year in a report by the RCN. The report outlines how in 2011, the system employed nearly 4,000 district nurses and nurse assistants across 380 teams.

By 2013, this had risen to 6,500 nurses across 580 teams and as of 2016 cared for more than 70,000 patients – 50% of whom have dementia.

Boost to morale

The report concluded: ‘Its demonstration of nursing capability and self-management in delivering ever better patient care is a great boost to the profession’s morale.

‘The RCN hopes that by learning from Buurtzorg’s approach the critical process of nurse-led innovation for patients – which has been so important in forging Buurtzorg’s unique character – can be strengthened in the UK.’

The King’s Fund also reviewed the model and while extolling its virtues, recognised the approach ‘may not be right for all health systems but it highlights the potential benefits of taking a fresh look at professional roles’.

Former nurse Jos de Blok, who founded Buurtzorg, tweeted his response to the West Suffolk trial: ‘This will be one of the important examples in the UK. I’m very happy to see the adopting organisations growing. Change is coming.’


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs