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Buurtzorg community nursing

West Suffolk is looking to recruit its first Buurtzorg team to test a Dutch model of integrated health and personal care delivered by small teams of self-managed nurses working in the community.

Buurtzorg, which in English means ‘neighbourhood care’, advocates the use of highly qualified nurses to deliver dedicated personal and health care to patients in a neighbourhood area. The nurses work in small self-managed teams to deliver holistic care, working closely alongside their formal and informal networks to allow individuals to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Suffolk Community Healthcare, NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk councils, with the support of the East of England Local Government Association, are seeking enthusiastic nurses and nursing assistants with community experience to join west Suffolk’s first Buurtzorg team to test this new community model of care at home.  

Rowan Procter, executive chief nurse at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for community nursing in west Suffolk. The Buurtzorg model has the potential to help us meet our ambition to keep people healthy and living independently for longer. We know many people would prefer to remain in their own familiar environment when unwell or managing a health condition and through this model we can help coach individuals and families to maintain their health and wellbeing.

“We are seeking community nurses to be a central part of testing this new way of working to explore how we can bring the benefits the Buurtzorg model has brought in the Netherlands to west Suffolk.”

This team will be one of a handful in the country to explore the model and will be part of the partnership’s first ‘self-managed’ team who will deliver dedicated personal and health care to individuals in a small area of West Suffolk.

In the Netherlands the Buurtzorg model has led both to higher levels of satisfaction and significant reductions in the cost of care provision by providing early detection of problems, increasing quality of life reducing longer term care needs and reducing hospital admissions.

It has received recognition for its nurse-led approach, and interest from the UK and beyond. 

Dr Simon Arthur, a GP in Newmarket and Buurtzorg GP lead for West Suffolk CCG, said: “It is extremely pleasing to have reached this stage where we can now begin recruiting and get the Buurtzorg pilot up and running.

“For nurses and nursing assistants who are considering applying for the roles, I would urge them to do so. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a project that is ground-breaking and innovative and offers real opportunity to improve the west Suffolk healthcare landscape.”

Those interested in being part of this brand new approach to delivering community care can find out more about how to get involved at NHS Jobs, or can speak to Sharon Basson, senior matron at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on telephone: 01284 713000. The closing date for these posts is 21 June 2017.

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