The need for information on home care
From changing client preferences and the ageing process in many countries it is expected that demand for home care will grow. Besides, many countries hold a policy to substitute outpatient services for hospital and nursing home services. Health care reforms in many European countries during the past decade have affected the relationships and roles of the hospital and ambulatory care sector, including home care. In Europe, roughly two types of countries can be distinguished. On the one hand, there are the well resourced countries, that face challenges in keeping home care affordable, on the other hand, there are the low resourced countries, that face the challenge providing home care to those who are the most in need, despite the lacking resources. However, both types of countries may have introduced innovative reforms, that can be of interest to the other countries as well.

In a uniform way
When looking at other country’s solutions, it is important to have information in a uniform way on context, policy and regulation, financing, and organisation and delivery of home care. In this way, the innovative practices, on home care, can be put into perspective. Based on these notions NIVEL, in collaboration with 9 other institutes* throughout Europe, collected data on home care in 31 countries (the 27 European Union member states, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). The datacollection was part of the Eurhomap project (mapping professional home care in Europe), which was co-funded by the European Union. 

* the 9 other instutes involved in this project were: IRDES - Institute for research and information in health economics (France), Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin (Germany) , Corvinus University Budapest, Department of Public Policy and Management (Hungary), I.N.R.C.A. - National Institute for the Resta and Care of the Elderly (Italy), AMB - Medical University of Bialystok (Poland), IDIAP Jordi Gol, Institute for Primary Health Care Research (Spain), BTH - Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Health Science (Sweden) and The University of Sheffield, ScHARR - School of Health and Related Research (UK).