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Bringing Buurtzorg to Britain and Ireland

Public World has launched Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland, in partnership with the Dutch provider of health and social care at home that has grown from one self-organised team at start-up in 2007 to more than 900 teams and 14,000 staff today.

The new venture was launched in collaboration with the RSA, which awarded its annual Albert Medal -- previous recipients include Marie Curie, Thomas Edison and Stephen Hawking -- to Buurtzorg founder and chief exectutive Jos de Blok.

“We started working with different countries and discovered that the problems are the same," said Jos. "The message every time is to start again from the patient perspective and simplify the systems.”.

Brendan Martin, managing director of Public World and Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland, added: "Of course, there are important differences between the Dutch, British and Irish systems, but the Buurtzorg message of humanity over bureaucracy is universal.

"Our 'Test & Learn' approach is designed to find out how to make the basic Buurtzorg principles of person-centred, relationship-based care provided through local self-organised teams work in our contexts."

Buurtzorg has recently also launched in Germany, and there are established teams in Sweden and the United States. Buurtzorg Asia is growing fast in China, India, Japan and South Korea, while back in Europe we are working in a EU-funded project to show how the model can work in Belgium, France and the county of Kent in England.

Teams trained by Buurtzorg nurses and coaches are at work in London, and will soon be joined by another in West Suffolk. We are also working with health and social care commissioners and providers in several other locations in England and Scotland to prepare and support self-organised neighgbourhood teams and tackle the organisational development challenges involved.

Here is a Municipal Journal article about our work in Suffolk, and more detail about our support to Scottish health and care organisations in partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Want to know about Buurtzorg? Here's a great starter video of founder Jos de Blok's presentation at the RSA in London, when he accepted the Albert Medal.

For more case studies, videos and research, visit our Buurtzorg repository of resources.

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