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.
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.
The findings of this evaluation suggested that it may prove challenging to directly transfer the Buurtzorg model to the UK health system. However it identify that there are some principles which are adaptable, or could be aspired to, within community nursing. Promoting greater independence among patients while improving access and continuity of care, more flexible working for community nurses, forming effective inter-professional partnerships and empowering frontline staff are all adaptable principles of the Buurtzorg model that ought to be prioritised as part of community care development. Some of these principles also align with integrated care approaches and combining them with the provision of Reablement services and care-coordination present in the NCT model evaluated here, provides important learning for the development of service integration in community care.
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