In 2015, research institutes VUmc/Emgo and Nivel investigated how to supervise networks in home environments They did so at the request of the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate. The results from these studies were published in September 2016. We have used the results for the development of its supervision of care networks in home environments.

Results of the VUmc/Emgo+ study

VUmc/Emgo+ published the report ‘Supervision of care networks of vulnerable elderly people living at home’ [in Dutch].

This study shows that collaboration within the networks involving elderly people living independently can be improved. In the networks investigated, the care providers were regularly unaware of each other's involvement. They had few mutual contacts. Elderly people were usually in charge of their own care. But sometimes they were no longer able to continue to do so. The network often did not make agreements about this. For example about who would be in charge if the client is no longer able to manage their own care.

Risks of elderly people living independently

According to the researchers from VUmc/Emgo+, this may create risks for elderly people living independently. The researchers see an agenda-setting and stimulating role for the Inspectorate. The Inspectorate can stimulate improvement of the collaboration between stakeholders in the network. The researchers advise the Inspectorate to consult with the field. That way, they can discuss the most important improvements in network collaboration. In addition, the researchers advise the Inspectorate to allow the regions to provide tailor-made work.

Collaboration with the Wmo-supervisor

Elderly people often receive a combination of care and support. Therefore, according to the researchers, the Inspectorate should also seek collaboration with the municipal supervisor. The municipality supervises the support, which is provided by the Social Support Act (Wmo).

Involve clients in the supervision

Finally, the researchers advise the Inspectorate to continue to involve clients in its supervision. The research shows that clients in the pilot areas felt that it was good that the Inspectorate involved them in network supervision.

Results of the Nivel research

Nivel published the report ‘Conceptual framework for developing supervision of collaboration in the care and support of vulnerable clients at home’ [in Dutch].

The researchers concluded that the collaboration between care providers in home care still does not sufficiently resemble a network. The Inspectorate cannot appeal to a network as a whole in the quality of the collaboration. However, they can appeal to the individual care providers. The researchers see collaboration as an important theme in the care of vulnerable people at home. Collaboration is part of good care.

According to Nivel, it would be best for the Inspectorate to organise its supervision regionally. The emphasis should be on consulting with one another. And on promoting learning capability in the field. In addition, the Inspectorate can devote attention to collaboration in its daily supervision of care providers.

Academic Workplace Supervision

The studies on supervision of network care were carried out by the Academic Workplace Supervision (AWToezicht). This is a collaboration of the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate with ZonMw and the IQ healthcare knowledge institutes (RadboudUmc), Health Policy & Management institute (Erasmus University Rotterdam), NIVEL (Utrecht) and VUmc-EMGO+.

The cooperative partners in the AWToezicht do research on the operation and effects of supervision. This enables the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate to further develop its supervision.