Inspired by the work of Buurtzorg, a number of health and social care partnerships across Scotland are developing, with the intent to test, models of neighbourhood care. These models, such as multi-disciplinary team working are reflective of their local need and context, and will support them in understanding and delivering person-centred care that enables individuals to live well in the community for longer.

The Buurtzorg model of neighbourhood care
The Buurtzorg model of neighbourhood care was established in the Netherlands in 2007 to improve quality of care and outcomes for people. It puts the person at the centre of care and promotes staff autonomy and the provision of holistic care in the community.

The model was developed in response to a fragmented landscape of home care provision in the Netherlands, in which people were receiving care from multiple practitioners and providers. Rather than carrying out fixed tasks for people in isolation, the Buurtzorg model takes a holistic approach and looks at what patients and service users can learn to do for themselves again, reducing the need for care in the future. Its focus on neighbourhoods allows teams to use informal networks and work together with a range of professionals, such as GPs and pharmacists, and to engage in preventative activities.

The success of any care at home model, Buurtzorg or otherwise, will rely heavily on the connections made to other disciplines, for example to community services provided in the neighbourhood, to general practitioners, to a host of AHP services, to pharmacists, to ambulance and other transport services; to other specialist disciplines as required and also third sector partners.

Benefits of Buurtzorg method
Analysis by KPMG has found that Buurtzorg methods lead to:


  • Productivity
  • Work satisfaction
  • Supply of professionals
  • Revenue
  • Quality
  • Motivation


  • Costs
  • Resources per patient
  • Cycle time
  • Unplanned care
  • Absence through illness
  • Staff turnover

The LWIC neighbourhood care work stream
The LWIC neighbourhood care work stream is supporting health and social care partnerships from across Scotland to develop and test models of neighbourhood care, as well as evaluating the impact and outcome of this work.

Test sites are currently developing their own models of neighbourhood care which are appropriate for their contexts, based on all or some of the following principles of the Buurtzorg model:

  • Putting the person at the centre of holistic care
  • Building relationships with people to make informed decisions about their own care, which promotes wellbeing and independence with active involvement of family, neighbours and the wider community, where appropriate
  • Everyone, including support functions, enabling person-centred care at the point of delivery
  • Small self-organising, geographical-based teams
  • Professional autonomy.

We are developing an evaluation toolkit that will assist partnerships in evaluating their models. This will also allow for an overall evaluation of this work stream, reflecting on the impact on individuals using the service, staff providing the service and the system itself.

Contact: LWIC Neighbourhood Care work stream

Alec Murray, Associate Improvement Advisor,