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Community nurse makes comeback with Buurtzorg

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VELSEN – A previously abandoned concept is taking the entire country by storm: it is the ‘wijkzuster,’ the community nurse, who drops in on people requiring patient care at home at prescribed intervals and even helps to coordinate volunteers and other care givers. The Buurtzorg Nederland concept was launched in 2006 by community nurse Jos de Blok in 2006, who had resigned his job from a large caregiver agency to set up his no-frills umbrella for small, local teams of independent nurses to join. In a few short years Buurtzorg has grown to about 300 independent teams of nurses of which a Velsen team is the latest to join. The concept calls for highly qualified members who are largely able to make care giving decisions on the spot, instead of tapping into layers of bureaucracy before a decision can be made. Buurtzorg nurses are not cheaper themselves but are more efficient and part of a low-overhead system. They are also very flexible and do not charge by the minute.