The Buurtzorg model of care, developed by a social enterprise in the Netherlands in 2006, involves small teams of nursing staff providing a range of personal, social and clinical care to people in their own homes in a particular neighbourhood. There’s an emphasis on one or two staff working with each individual and their informal carers to access all the resources available in their social networks and neighbourhood to support them to be more independent. The nursing teams have a flat management structure, working in ‘non-hierarchical self-managed' teams. This means they make all the clinical and operational decisions themselves. They can access support from a coach, whose focus is on enabling the team to learn to work constructively together, and a central back office.
In 2017, a group of NHS and local government organisations in West Suffolk, who had joined forces in a project to support older people to live independently at home, initiated a test-and-learn of the Buurtzorg model. They recruited a team of nurses and assistant practitioners to provide health and social care to people in line with the principles of the Buurtzorg model. The King's Fund has been working with this team to support them to learn about their experiences as they go along.