Isala in Zwolle is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. It offers basic care and highly-specialised care (heart- and neurosurgery, dialysis, stem cell transplantation and radiotherapy) for the region between the university cities of Groningen, Utrecht and Nijmegen. The Isala Academy coordinates all teaching activities. Research and innovation are also considered very important. Yearly more than 2000 patients with cancer are treated (2741 in 2011).
Since 3 August 2013 Isala has been located in a new hospital of 776 beds. The organic architecture and a green environment was chosen increase to the wellbeing of patients.
The Oncology Centre Isala, founded in 2009, has set a standard of care to which all the oncological care has to meet. The second task is to monitor if the quality defined is reached. Nine tumour-specific working groups make treatment plans for all oncology patients in daily or weekly multidisciplinary oncology meetings. Patients with breast cancer and gastro-intestinal malignancies are seen on multidisciplinary (one-stop) outpatient clinics.
The staff includes one haemato-oncologist, five oncologists and four haematologists, six M(A)-ANP and seven specialised oncology nurses (case-managers), four research nurses and a nurse specialised in palliative care.
The oncology ward consists of 28 beds, of which 12 are single. This includes eight beds of the high-care haemato-oncology unit. A separate day care chemotherapy unit consists of six beds and eight chairs. The lung-oncology has a separate department.
The department of radiation oncology with six staff members is located in the hospital. In our new hospital all diagnostic facilities are state off the art.
Areas of specialisation
The department of medical oncology treats all common solid tumours and has a special license for the treatment of melanoma.
Isala has a JACIE-accreditation for autologous stem cell transplantation and, in cooperation with VUmc Amsterdam, cares for patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The high-care palliative unit of nursing home IJsselheem is located in the new hospital building.
Palliative and supportive care
In the pathways of all the tumour groups there is specific focus for the palliative phase. When a patient enters the palliative phase the patient gets a digital mark and will be brought to the attention of the multidisciplinary consultation team for cancer pain and palliative care. This team is comprised of a haematologist, oncologist, radiation oncologist, anaesthesiologists, chaplain, palliative care physician (also responsible for the high care palliative unit) and nurses specialised in palliative care. It is our philosophy that we can be consulted by both nurses and physicians. We advise and also can visit the patient and his/her family, but the treating physician remains responsible for the care of the patient.
The members of this consultation team are also responsible for the development of guidelines with regard to symptom management and for teaching of young professionals.
The Palliative Care Center Isala participates in a multidisciplinary regional consultation team for palliative care. In this regional consultation team General Practitioners, specialised nurses working in home care, a psychologist, nursing home physician, palliative care physician, and a general pharmacist work together with professionals who are working in the hospital. There is a special focus is on improving the cooperation with GP’s.