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Publication Detail
Transforming community nursing services in the UK; Lessons from a participatory evaluation of the implementation of a new community nursing model in East London based on the principles of the Dutch Buurtzorg model
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Lalani M, Fernandes J, Fradgley R, Ogunsola C, Marshall M
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    BMC Health Services Research
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Buurtzorg, a model of community nursing conceived in the Netherlands, is widely cited as a promising and evidence-based approach to improving the delivery of integrated nursing and social care in community settings. The model is characterised by high levels of patient and staff satisfaction, professional autonomy exercised through self-managing nursing teams, client empowerment and holistic, patient centred care. This study aimed to examine the extent to which some of the principles of the Buurtzorg model could be adapted for community nursing in the United Kingdom. Methods: A community nursing model based on the Buurtzorg approach was piloted from June 2017-August 2018 with a team of nurses co-located in a single general practice in the Borough of Tower Hamlets, East London, UK. The initiative was evaluated using a participatory methodology known as the Researcher-in-Residence model. Qualitative data were collected using participant observation of meetings and semi-structured interviews with nurse team members, senior managers, patients/carers and other local stakeholders such as General Practitioners (GP) and social workers. A thematic framework analysis of the data was carried out. Results: Implementation of a community nursing model based on the Buurtzorg approach in East London had mixed success when assessed against its key principles. Patient experience of the service was positive because of the better access, improved continuity of care and longer appointment times in comparison with traditional community nursing provision. The model also provided important learning for developing service integration in community care, in particular, how to form effective collaborations across the care system with other health and social care professionals. However, some of the core features of the Buurtzorg model were difficult to put into practice in the National Health Service (NHS) because of significant cultural and regulatory differences between The Netherlands and the UK, especially the nurses' ability to exercise professional autonomy. Conclusions: Whilst many of the principles of the Buurtzorg model are applicable and transferable to the UK, in particular promoting independence among patients, improving patient experience and empowering frontline staff, the successful embedding of these aims as normalised ways of working will require a significant cultural shift at all levels of the NHS.
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