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Children's Comfort Team Utrecht

Quality of life is particularly important when children are faced with a life-threatening or life-shortening condition. The Princess Máxima Center and Wilhelmina Children's Hospital are joining forces to leverage their expertise on quality of life in this situation, both inside and outside the hospital walls.
The Children’s Comfort Team Utrecht comprises a multidisciplinary team with medical, nursing, pedagogical, psychosocial and spiritual expertise. The CCTU provides support to families and, where necessary, organizes and coordinates healthcare (including palliative care) throughout the chain. This team also supports professionals who provide healthcare in this field inside and outside of the hospital.

In May 2019 the Máxima and the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ) signed a partnership agreement with the aim of joining forces and pooling their expertise across each other's sites to form a Children’s Comfort Team in Utrecht. The initiators in Utrecht were already involved in setting up a number of comfort teams in other regions. The CCTU started on September 1. Seven Children’s Comfort Teams have now been set up nationwide. They are the product of an initiative by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, implemented by the Pediatric Palliative Care Research Center (previously the PAL Foundation) in collaboration with the children’s hospitals.

The power of continuity, coordination and quality lies in collaboration. As a CCTU, we work together within the organizations and, beyond the borders of our hospitals, with the other care institutions, CCTs from other regions and the regional Integral Child Care Network (NIK). We are thus making an active contribution to networking to improve pediatric palliative care in and beyond the Utrecht region.

The CCTU's mission is to improve the quality of care for seriously ill children and their families/loved ones/next of kin, by offering them optimal support during this period.

The multidisciplinary team focuses on coordination, continuity and quality, as well as on improving pediatric palliative care, especially at home in coordination with the hospital, in order to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and to prevent unwanted admissions, in accordance with the wishes of parents and child.
Concentration provides expertise in pediatric palliative care. It is precisely by increasing our expertise that we can ensure the best possible tailor-made care.

How and when can you contact the comfort team as a parent/carer?
The Children's Comfort Team discusses a limited life expectancy with parents and child at an early stage. In this way, the individual wishes and expectations can be better taken into account.
If you, as a parent, would like support or guidance from the Children's Comfort Team Utrecht for your child and your family, please contact the team at the Princess Máxima Center.

Here you will find all the information of the comfort team.

Princess Máxima Center contact details
t 088 - 972 97 15

Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis contact details
t 06 25 710 211

For professionals
What is palliative care?
Definition in IKNL quality framework, 2017:
Palliative care is care that improves the quality of life of children and their loved ones in the face of a life-threatening condition or vulnerability, by preventing and alleviating suffering, by means of early diagnosis and careful assessment and treatment of problems of a physical, psychological, social and spiritual nature. During the course of the disease or vulnerability, palliative care focuses on maintaining autonomy, access to information and choice.

Pediatric palliative care requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Healthcare providers in Utrecht can draw on the expertise, skills and knowledge of the Children's Comfort Team in the areas of:

  • (Preparing for) breaking bad news
  • Bridging function; coordinating care and information between various care providers
  • Psychosocial care
  • Palliative medication step-by-step plan
  • Treatment of symptoms
  • Transition to home
  • Transition from curative to palliative
  • Transition from palliative to end-stage phase
  • Follow-up care

If you have any questions about medical policy or coordination with the hospital, or if you need advice or specific information about the care process, please contact the Children's Comfort Team Utrecht.

Check it out:
- The movie: Talking about death
- The interview with Erna Michiels, children's oncologist at the Princess Máxima Center, in the magazine Pallium
- www.kinderpalliatief.nl
- Integral child care network Utrecht
- Flyer comfort team