The Alliance and the Health and Social Care Academy have published their report on learning from a model of community nursing for older people, developed in The Netherlands.
Jos De Blok has developed the Buurtzog (“neighbourhood care” in Dutch) approach to support and care for older people in their communities. In De Blok’s experience of nursing, unnecessary bureaucracy was having an impact on service delivery, and that the influence of nurses was diminishing.
After two years of planning, the Buurtzog network was established and now has 9,500 nurses, organised into teams of no more than 12. These are self-managed and person-centred rather than organisation-centred, with each team supported by coaches.
The Buurtzog approach ensures that personal outcomes, a holistic approach and relationships, and wellbeing are at the heart of how people are cared for and supported. As a result, the cost of providing the service is lower, as fewer visits to each person are needed. Admissions to hospital are also reduced. All staff are encouraged to develop and demonstrate leadership skills, with teams and individuals at the centre of change.
The Integration of Health and Social Care offers Scotland an opportunity to think differently regarding its approaches to care, at a time when Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer is undertaking a review of District Nursing, as part of the Transforming Nursing Roles initiative. Jos De Blok visited Scotland in June last year, and a small group visited The Netherlands to see the Buurtzog approach in practice.
Ian Mitchell, Deputy Director for Health and Social Care Integration at the Scottish Government, said, “The Buurtzog model of self-managed teams, with trust in highly trained professionals to deliver care and resolve issues at a local level, was of considerable interest.”
Initial recommendations from the review of District Nursing will be made in April.
To read the full report, or for further information, please visit the Health and Social Care Academy website.