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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.