Nationwide cooperation of Dutch medical centres beneficial for patients with congenital heart defects

The university medical centres of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport have reached agreements to jointly arrange care for people with congenital heart defects now and in the future. The university medical centres of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Utrecht will work together in a network. The same applies to Rotterdam and Nijmegen. Maastricht is collaborating with the university hospital in Aachen and Leuven.

The Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Utrecht University Medical Centres consider it good news that clear agreements have been reached on a new working method that will ensure that the care for patients with congenital heart defects now and in the future remains at the high level as we know it in the Netherlands. This will enable the doctors, nurses and other (healthcare) professionals of the four centres to further improve that care. With that aim in mind, the agreements in the agreement will be further developed together with the other university medical centres and the patient organisations involved.

Patient primacy

For the medical centres, the interests of the patient and the best possible care are paramount. The starting point within the Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Utrecht network is that every patient is treated as close to home as possible. Together, care is organised even better 'around them'. Medical specialists, nurses and other care professionals from the various centres will function as a single team, partly through (nationwide) multidisciplinary consultation. If necessary, another location will step in with medical expertise and support. This ensures continuity and quality of care. The medical centres will continue to provide acute life-saving cardiac care, will continue to treat patients according to the latest insights into congenital heart defects, will continue to provide lifelong cardiac care and will continue to provide psychosocial and social support to children and families.

The University Medical Centres will monitor the effects of the cooperation closely. Moreover, the progress of the agreements will be evaluated annually. Relevant information on care outcomes will be shared transparently, so that further improvements can be made together on that basis. In the field of training and research, the networks will cooperate more intensively: training will take place nationwide and thus network-wide.

Source: UMC Utrecht (in Dutch)