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January 14


12:30 pm - 01:00 am

Event Category:

Buurtzorg, Empowering teams, Healthcare, NHS, Self Managed Teams


Matthew Mezey


The social enterprise Buurtzorg has provided nursing and care in the Netherlands for 12 years, growing from one self-managed team of four nurses to around 1,000 teams and 10,000 nurses today. It currently provides more than half of the district nursing care in the Netherlands – without the need for managers.

Buurtzorg means ‘neighbourhood care’ and works by enabling and supporting the professional autonomy of its staff, who in turn focus on supporting clients to live the lives they choose at home for as long as possible.

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Buurtzorg’s mantra of “coffee then care” speaks to the importance of connecting people with their neighbourhoods and communities, a common theme in much of transformation work in our current system.

Brendan Martin, who first brought this approach to the UK in partnership with Buurtzorg founder Jos de Blok in 2015, shares what he has learned from working with around 30 NHS, local government and charitable organisations since then, and the vision for continued collaboration in the future.

The Buurtzorg model – which has only 50 back-office admin staff – is so unusual that Cambridge University business academic Mark Thompson, writing in the Guardian, commented when he first heard about Buurtzorg that it “made me fall off my seat”. He made a back-of-the-envelope calculation that such a self-managed approach could save £35.5bn across Britain’s public sector, freeing up thousands of staff to return to valuable frontline work.

Brendan Martin is the founder of the social enterprise Public World and leads Buurtzorg Britain & Ireland.

This Zoom call is organised by the Q Community’s Reimagining Health & Care group (all welcome to join) – and is the first in a series of Zooms. Don’t miss them!