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Shared care

The Princess Máxima Center works closely with a number of pediatric departments within hospitals across the country to enable care close to home. We call this Shared care.

Read more: Thomas and Fenna share experience with shared care

Why have a hospital in the vicinity?

The Princess Máxima Center brings together expertise in the field of childhood cancer, so that every child can receive the best possible treatment and benefit from the very latest developments. This is where the diagnosis is made and examinations and complex treatments take place. Treatment is intensive and can take anywhere from weeks to years. Fortunately, your child does not have to come to the Princess Máxima Center for all interventions.

Parts of the treatment can be administered in a shared care center closer to home. Examples are:

  • Administering certain types of chemotherapy;
  • Blood transfusions, antibiotics, pain treatment;
  • Treatment of nausea, starting tube feeding;
  • Blood checks prior to a new course of chemotherapy.

If your child has a fever, it is important that your child is assessed without delay. First call the Princess Máxima Center to check whether you should go to the shared care center. There your child will be examined and if necessary admitted for antibiotics, for example. If necessary, your child will still be referred to the Princess Máxima Center.

Another important reason for providing care in the shared care centers is keeping enough room available in the Princess Máxima Center for children who need intensive care.

Which shared care center should my child go to?

You choose a shared care center together with your primary practitioner. Your primary practitioner then arranges an appointment to make your acquaintance. You will soon feel at home at the shared care center because the team there is much smaller than in the Princess Máxima Center, so it will not take long for you to get to know each other.

What facilities does the shared care center provide?

The Princess Máxima Center is a new building designed in conjunction with parents and children. It is the only hospital in the Netherlands with so-called parent-child suites, i.e. hospital rooms with a connecting room for a child's parent.

The shared care centers have the same facilities as all other pediatric departments in the Netherlands. As a parent you can sleep in the same room as your child; there are no separate rooms for parents. You might share the room with another child and parent. It is good to be aware of that in advance.

At the Princess Máxima Center you are used to certain procedures and ways of doing things. This might not be the same in the shared care centers. Each hospital has its own procedures, although we do try to coordinate them if at all possible. Different aids are used in the various centers, all of which are of excellent quality. Your child will receive the best possible care.

What is the team in the shared care center like?

The shared care centers have been carefully selected. Pediatricians are involved in pediatric oncology; indeed, some of them are pediatric oncologists. The shared care centers also employ pediatric oncology nurses, psychologists, social workers and clinical nurse specialists who have received special training. The professionals in the shared care centers and the Princess Máxima Center know each other and have direct access to each other. All your child's data is stored in the Princess Máxima Center's electronic patient file, to which the shared care teams have access. Information is also exchanged by telephone, email and fax. The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate has visited, tested, assessed and approved all shared care centers.

To whom can I address my questions or comments?

You can always address your questions and comments to your treatment team in the Princess Máxima Center and your shared care center. If you are not satisfied or if you have any suggestions for improvement, please contact the shared care center's complaints officer or the ombudswoman at the Princess Máxima Center.