To the core

Researching the execution of the key functions of NPZ (Palliative Care Network the Netherlands)
Publication date: 01 March 2015

Since the establishment of the Fibula foundation in 2011 as a national organisation of all palliative care networks (NPZ) in the Netherlands, it worked on - partly with a subsidy from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport - a policy document setting out the plan of action of the foundation (Fibula, 2014 ). In 2014, the Fibula foundation released a “brochure on a minimum requirements palliative care network” with which it established the starting point for the development of quality, professionalism and visibility of the NPZ in the Netherlands.

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The brochure mentions the four core functions of each NPZ as coordinate, inform, identify and facilitate. With these core functions, the Fibula foundation aims, on the one hand, to achieve the desired harmonisation of the networks in the interest of recognition, good advocacy and quality requirements which may be imposed on networks in the future. On the other hand, the Fibula foundation supports the "local colour" so that networks can also develop an appropriate programme that matches the needs of their region (Fibula, 2014). This policy is entirely in line with the confinement of the NPZ functions and the desired consistency in the (administrative) organisation, as advised by BMC (2010) as well as the "additional area-specific provisions” mentioned by Obelon (2011). Based on the NPPZ, the overarching principle is that patients can choose the care they want in the future in the final phase of their lives, that it is available everywhere in the Netherlands and that there is continuity of (palliative) care.

For the Fibula foundation it is desirable – one year after publication of this “brochure on a minimum requirements palliative care network” – to get a first impression of how the four core functions of the NPZ can be secured in the field and how the networks fulfil regional customisation in relation to the starting point of the NPPZ mentioned above. It is also desirable to inventory the supporting role of Fibula towards further implementation.

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