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About Erasmus MC Sophia

We are the largest children's hospital in the Netherlands. We have the specialist knowledge needed to treat complex disorders in children and to offer them the best possible care.

Erasmus MC Sophia has everything needed to offer children the best care. We are an innovative children's hospital that has been in the heart of Rotterdam for over 150 years. An university medical center where specialised top care, scientific research and education go hand in hand. But where, above all, children and their families take centre stage. Because together, we provide the best care.

About Erasmus MC Sophia


Over het Erasmus MC Sophia

Largest children's hospital in the Netherlands

The Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital is the oldest and largest children's hospital in the Netherlands. We have been providing care for over 150 years and we offer medical and surgical specialist care at a high level. That is why we mainly treat children who have complex or rare disorders. We can offer them the specialised care and treatment they need.

University medical center

Erasmus MC is the largest university medical center in the Netherlands. We train doctors and nurses in all medical specialties and conduct groundbreaking scientific research. By combining research findings, care and education, we can immediately apply the newest insights and innovations for the benefit of our patients with complex disorders.

Broad patient group

We provide both physical and psychological care to a broad patient group. At the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, we support and guide our patients psychologically. At Erasmus MC Sophia, we also treat and support parents-to-be, particularly if pregnancies are complex or if the birth requires specialist attention.

Collaboration between different medical specialties

Our doctors work together in multidisciplinary teams whenever possible. This means that children receive care from several different specialists to achieve the best broad-spectrum treatment. Because doctors and researchers from different medical specialties work together, and research and care go hand in hand, we can offer your child the best care and treatment.


At Erasmus MC Sophia, we have great ambitions. We would like to remain the largest and leading children's hospital in the Netherlands. To realise this ambition, we have identified four focus, or profiling, areas.

These profiling areas are clusters of academic care and scientific research in which we excel and in which we actively seek the connection between care and research. By incorporating research findings more directly in our care, we take a crucial step towards realising health gains for our patients. We want to continue to distinguish ourselves in these areas, now and in the future, on a national and international level.

Based on our four profiling areas, we have created four centres offering highly complex care based on a broad multidisciplinary approach:

  • Paediatric Thorax centre.
  • Paediatric Neurology centre.
  • Mother and Child Centre.
  • Rare Diseases Centre.

Our vision

Together we provide the best care

Our top priority is to provide the best possible care to every patient. At Erasmus MC Sophia, we are convinced that the best care is that in which the child, its family and our doctors form a team. We tailor our care to the needs of each patient and organise our care together with the child and its family. This is one of our core values, which we call Co-creation of Care (in short: Co-Care).


Co-Care is based on the principles of family-oriented care. This means that the child and its parents are involved in a child’s daily care, for instance during the 'Co-Care consultation'. This is when our doctors and nurses, together with the child and its parents, make a treatment plan for the coming days. Every team member is invited to tell how things are going and ask questions. We are jointly responsible for the best result. Co-care is practised in many more places in our hospital; it is integrated into all departments (through Family Advisory Committees, for example) and has a place within the management.

Sophia Compass

We integrate the core values we propagate throughout our organisation: Together, personal, valuable, bold and hospitable. The Sophia Compass depicts these core values of Erasmus MC Sophia. This instrument helps our staff to develop a common connecting language in how we approach colleagues and our patients and their families.


By working together, we strengthen, share and develop knowledge. Our staff work together in multidisciplinary teams, between different departments and with advisory bodies. But we also actively and purposefully work to form networks on a larger scale: on a regional, national and international level. We believe that collaboration leads to better care: fragmented knowledge is brought together and centralised, more extensive research can be conducted, and access to the right care is accelerated and improved. We try to collaborate in several ways with others to deliver better care, research and education:

Collaboration with patients and families

We proactively cooperate with the various advisory bodies within Erasmus MC Sophia that bring together children, parents and other family members of (former) patients:

In these advisory bodies, children and relatives consult with our staff about subjects they consider important and which they think could be improved in the hospital. The opinions of these councils and committees are valuable to us. We listen to their ideas and consider how their recommendations can be implemented.

Regional and national collaboration

Hospitals cannot always offer all the knowledge of every medical specialty at a high level. That is why hospitals often specialise in the treatment of particular conditions and treatments. By seeking out collaborations with other hospitals, we centralise expertise so that we can offer the best possible care. This means that a child may come to Erasmus MC Sophia for a specific treatment of one disorder and is referred to another hospital for another disorder.

Some examples:

  • Erasmus MC Sophia & Radboudumc: Together with the department of Paediatric Cardiology of the Radboudumc in Nijmegen, we form the largest academic centre for congenital heart defects in children in the Netherlands. Appointments and examinations take place at the Radboudumc, and operations, cardiac catheterisations and admissions take place at Erasmus MC Sophia. The Paediatric Cardiac Centre in Erasmus MC Sophia is the only location in the Netherlands where heart transplants in children are performed.
  • Erasmus MC Sophia & LUMC: The departments of Paediatrics of the Erasmus MC Sophia and the LUMC-Willem-Alexander Children's Hospital in Leiden have been working together since 2014 on various aspects of care, research and education under the name Strategic Alliance Paediatrics. This collaboration ensures that we can offer the best care, at the right time and the right place, for each child in South West Netherlands. It also means that we innovate together, have access to each other's knowledge and expertise, and work together on research and the training of our doctors.

    For example, we treat children with very severe immune disorders and non-malignant blood diseases with stem cell transplants together with the stem cell transplant department of the Willem-Alexander Children's Hospital in Leiden. Highly complex paediatric surgical operations are performed at Erasmus MC Sophia.
  • Erasmus MC Sophia & Princess Máxima Centre: Children in Erasmus MC Sophia who are diagnosed with cancer go to the Princess Máxima Centre (PMC) for paediatric oncology in Utrecht before the start of treatment. We form a Shared Care hospital for paediatric oncology. This means that we are a co-treating children's hospital and provide less complex aspects of the paediatric oncology treatments for children in South West Netherlands.
  • Erasmus MC Sophia & ADRZ: To improve the quality and efficiency of care in the Zeeland region, we entered a partnership with the ADRZ in 2017. Babies and children from the Zeeland region come to Erasmus MC Sophia for intensive care treatment and exceptional academic care.

International collaboration

  • European Children's Hospitals Organisation: Erasmus MC Sophia is a member of the European Children's Hospitals Organisation (ECHO). This is an organisation of leading academic children's hospitals in Europe. ECHO pleads for (access to) the best quality of care for all children in Europe. We strengthen each other and can come up with solutions for the biggest challenges in healthcare.
  • European reference networks for rare diseases: Erasmus MC houses 55 expertise centres for rare diseases, many of which in Erasmus MC Sophia. An overview can be found on the page 'Centres of expertise for rare diseases’. Rare diseases are a challenge: knowledge of a particular disorder is sometimes spread all over the world. European Reference Networks (ERNs) help professionals and centres of expertise from different countries to share knowledge on rare diseases. Erasmus MC Sophia is represented in several ERNs.

More than care

A pleasant stay in Erasmus MC Sophia

Being ill is not fun. We go the extra mile and offer care as well as other activities to make a stay in our hospital as pleasant as possible. For our patients, their parents and any siblings. We organise fun and interesting events in the entrance hall of Erasmus MC Sophia throughout the year. Parents can share their experiences with other parents during 'Praatje met een taartje' (Chatting with Cake) and siblings can play at the Speeldek (daycare). Read more about this on the page ‘A pleasant stay at Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s hospital’.

Sophia TV

Erasmus MC Sophia has its own TV studio, where we make Sophia TV. We have been doing this for over thirty years. Twice a week we broadcast live from the studio, for and with our patients. During the broadcast, our patients can simply walk into the studio (Sh-2051) to join in the conversation, or they can send a question or comment to Sophia TV in advance. Children can participate in Sophia TV, both in front of and behind the camera: as a camera operator, presenter or assistant director for example. In the studio, everything is allowed and the patients of Erasmus MC Sophia take centre stage. We regularly have visits from Dutch celebrities and overall we have a lot of fun!

Over het Erasmus MC Sophia_Sophia TV

Education during illness

School is important for every child, and that does not stop when a child is ill. That is why we offer educational support in Erasmus MC Sophia. During hospitalisation (longer than a week) or regular day treatments, but also at home or school. For more information, see our page on educational support or contact the Centre of Expertise for Education during Illness (Expertisecentrum Ziek en Onderwijs) to discuss the possibilities.

Friends of Sophia

Erasmus MC Sophia foundation (in Dutch: Stichting Vrienden van het Sophia) is the independent fundraising organisation for Erasmus MC Sophia. With the help of donations, we can develop our profiling areas and scientific research aimed at improving treatment methods. The foundation also supports projects aimed at making the stay of our patients and their parents as pleasant as possible, for example by funding toys, recreational possibilities and atmosphere in the corridors. Stichting-vrienden-van-Sophia