Vilans experience day

One of the main subjects of the Vilans experience day (May 2nd, 2018) was the Dutch healthcare system and the Dignity and pride programme.

The 23rd International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare has taken place in Amsterdam from 2-4 May 2018. At this meeting, more than 3000 professionals from more than 70 countries have shared their knowledge and insights about quality improvement and patient safety.

Vilans was responsible for part of the programme for 2018, and has organised a so-called ‘Experience day’ on long-term care in the Netherlands on Wednesday 2 May. During this day, Vilans has offered participants a glimpse of the systematic improvement approach in Dutch care for the elderly.

Programme May 2, 2018

10.00 AM – 1.30 PM: Plenary session
Location: VU campus, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam

Plenary session including presentations about improving the quality of life and health for the elderly.
Day’s chairman: Dr. Henk Nies, board member of Vilans.


  • Dr. Henk Nies, board member Vilans, extraordinary professor of Organisation and Policy in Long-term Care at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Introduction to the Dutch healthcare system: Quality improvement in the care for older people, whole system approach. Download the presentation ‘The Dutch healthcare system and new views on quality improvement’
  • Dr. Ronnie van Diemen, Inspector General Health and Youth Care Inspectorate – The role of the Inspectorate in monitoring and stimulating lifelong learning in care for the elderly. Download the presentation A healthy sense of trust.
  • Dr. Jan Kremer, gynaecologist with a passion for a patient-oriented approach to quality and innovation, professor of patient-oriented innovation at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen and Chairman of the Quality Council Care Institute of the Netherlands, responsible for the development of the Kwaliteitskader Verpleeghuiszorg (Quality Framework for Care in Nursing Homes). Download the presentation ‘Dutch Quality Standard Nursing Home Care’.
  • Dr. Betty Meyboom-de Jong, professor general medical practice and president of the Nationaal Programma Ouderenzorg (National Programme Care for the Elderly) – Improving the quality of care for older people by developing integrated care. Care that is better suited to the individual needs of older people (Examples include Embrace and the Translational Care Bridge). Download the presentation ‘Ageing Better in the Netherlands’
  • Dr. Robbert Huijsman, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management and programme manager Dementiezorg voor elkaar (Dementia care for each other) – Improving collaboration in the system to improve social and medical care for very fragile older people with dementia. Download the presentation ‘Dementia care & support’
  • Hannie Treffers, president Programme management Vilans and programme manager of Waardigheid en trots (Pride and dignity), and Anno Pomp, policy officer Strategie Langdurige Zorg (Strategy Long-term Care), Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport – Lessons learned in improving the quality of care for residents of nursing homes. Download the presentation about the Dignity and pride programme and learn more about the programme.

After lunch, visitors had the opportunity to select one of four location visits:

1.00 – 4.00 PM: Location visits

  1. Leo Polak Huis, Amstelring, Amsterdam
    Address: Saaftingestraat 8, 1069 BW Amsterdam

Guided tour by Robbert Huijsman (Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management and program manager of ‘Dementiezorg voor elkaar’), Inge Borghuis, and Ruth Boyd (board member and location manager Amstelring).

During the guided tour of Amstelring’s Leo Polak Huis, visitors can experience intramural nursing home care. The organisation is constantly looking for creative solutions to make their residents’ daily lives as comfortable as possible. For example, all corridors in the small-scale group units are set up as an intuitive experience for elderly people with dementia. During the location visit, special attention will be given to the regional function of the nursing home and a meaningful daytime occupation for people with dementia. Dr. Willem van der Eerden, geriatrician at Amstelring, will give an introduction.

  1. Reinaerde, Dagbesteding Fort Werk, Utrecht (Fort WKU)
    Address: Lange Uitweg 42A, 3999WL Tull en ’t Waal

Guided tour by Carina Pittens (knowledge manager Vilans), Jacques Visser (regional manager Reinaerde), and a client from the Fort.

Fort WKU is a fort in Tull en ‘t Waal. The fort includes a tea shop, a small campsite and several meeting rooms that can be hired. Holiday makers/tourists/visitors (cyclists and walkers) can have a cup of coffee or lunch there. Through care provider Reinaerde, professionals, volunteers, and people with a disadvantage in the labour market who are following a development programme are employed at the Fort. The Fort can accommodate approximately 25 participants from different backgrounds: people with a mental disability or psychiatric disorder, people on unemployment benefits, or asylum seekers. Besides the work at the fort, they can also find work in the local area. Participants may deliver meals, help farmers out with their work, or keep the hiking path clean. Participants have the opportunity to develop themselves. This work may be a first step after a period of unemployment. Fort Werk is an example of participation in practice.

  1. Zorgboerderij Reigershoeve, Heemskerk
    Address: Oosterweg 5B, 1968 KM Heemskerk

Guided tour by Hannie Treffers and Dieneke Smit (manager at the Reigershoeve).

Residential care farmhouse Reigershoeve houses 27 people with dementia who need intensive care and support. Residents live in four small-scale group units. One of those is intended for people who developed dementia at a young age (younger than 65).

At the Reigershoeve, the focus is not on the illness, but on the individual. What does a person need to keep living in the way they were used to? What are their habits, wishes and preferences? What makes their life worth living? Staff members at the Reigershoeve work with their residents’ family members and do everything they can to offer them a new home. No request is too much: the approach at the Reigershoeve is ‘yes, unless’.

At the group units, all domestic duties are performed as normal and meals are cooked every night just like at home. Residents can help if they want to. They decide when they get up, when they go to sleep, and what’s on the menu every week. The daily planning is done by the residents as well, as far as possible. The lively farmhouse environment provides many experiences and activities. Residents are free to explore the large yard at all times. Much attention is given to activities that match the interests and capabilities of the residents, such as activities in the studio and kitchen, sports and music.

At the Reigershoeve we use our common sense, putting a home-like atmosphere and the needs of the individual front and centre. At the same time, the Reigershoeve aims to provide the best possible care according to the most advanced insights. This has proven to be a perfect combination!

Dieneke Smit, one of the initiators and managers at the Reigershoeve, will present the vision and policy at the Reigershoeve, partly based on her PhD research on the involvement in activities and the quality of life of people with dementia.

  1. Topaz, Overduin, centre of expertise on Huntington’s disease
    Address: Topaz – location Overduin, Nachtegaallaan 5, 2225 SX Katwijk aan Zee

Guided tour by Henk Nies.
Care, treatment and Huntington centre Topaz Overduin specialises in the treatment and care of people with dementia (120 clients) and people suffering from Huntington’s disease (70 clients). Over the years, Overduin has developed into a Huntington Expertise centre. Our Expertise centre can offer specialised support, treatment and care to people in all stages of the disease, including people who still live at home.

Topaz Overduin was founded in 1966. From the start, its residents have been people with dementia and Huntington’s disease. During the nineties, the organisation established a ward specifically for people with Huntington’s disease. Topaz Overduin consists of two residential units: the psycho-geriatric wards (a total of 120 clients) and the Huntington wards (a total of 70 clients). Topaz Overduin nursing home has been awarded a Topcare mark of excellence for Huntington care. The Topcare mark of excellence means that Overduin doesn’t just invest in research and innovation, but also develops new care methods, cooperates in the chain and shares knowledge within the sector. In this way, Topaz contributes to continual care improvement and to quality of life for its clients. During the visit, we will go examine the organisation of long-term care for residents with complex medical needs and misunderstood behaviour. We will also elaborate on Topcare’s ambition to organise optimum care for complex disorders.

Jesseke de Man, policy adviser, and Peter Boin, team manager, will show you around the wards and explain more about the organisation of long-term care for residents with complex medical needs and misunderstood behaviour. They will also elaborate on Topcare’s ambition to organise optimum care for complex disorders.

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