Skip to content
GOLTC | Globe Icon

Henk Nies

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Henk Nies

Prof. dr. Henk Nies is emeritus endowed professor of Organisation and Policy Development in Long-term Care at the Vrije University of Amsterdam. Further, he is member of the Quality Council at the National Health Care Institute of the Netherlands, Advisory Member of the committee on Social Security and Health Care of the Dutch Social Economic Council and Chairman of the Operational Committee of the National Dementia Strategy 2022-2026, launched by the Dutch government.
Henk Nies graduated as a psycho-gerontologist at Radboud University in Nijmegen (1982), where he also obtained his PhD on a thesis addressing policy research in care for older people (1992). Throughout his career he has been working at the edge of policy, practice and research. Henk was CEO of Vilans, the National Centre of Expertise for Long-term Care in the Netherlands, during the first seven years of its existence (2007-2014) and later for five more years member of the Executive Board (2014-2019). The last years of his career at Vilans he held a position as director of Strategy and Development. His retirement was in 2022.
Henk has ample experience in many national innovation and improvement programmes in long-term care, in various cases as a project-leader. He set up large, nation-wide innovation, improvement and implementation programmes such as ‘Improving professional-client interactions in elderly care’, the ‘National Dementia Care Program’, ‘Care for Better’, ‘In to Care’ and ‘Dignity and Pride’. His current field of interest is integrated care, quality management, dignity in elderly care (including care for people with dementia), the position of care workers and the relationship between formal carers, informal carers and people in need of long-term care.
He was involved in various national and international projects on these topics. In his international work, he was scientific director of CARMEN (the Care and Management of Services for Older People in Europe Network, a project supported by the European Commission). Further, he was a member of the scientific management team of the INTERLINKS-project, a project on health systems and long-term care for older people in Europe. He was co-editor of the book Long-term care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice (2013) and the book How to deliver Integrated Care: A Guidebook for Managers (2021).
He has been involved in several comparative studies in which national long-term care systems are compared. Amongst others, he ran a project for Dutch Parliament comparing the Scandinavian systems and the Netherlands. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Health Welfare and Sport, he monitored the Covid-19 developments in eight Northern European countries.
Henk was one of the founders of Eurocarers, the European association working for carers and was vice-president in the early years of Eurocarers. Since the end of 2019 he is co-opted member of the Board of Directors of Eurocarers, since 2021 as vice-president research.

Next to his part-time appointment as a professor at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and his membership of a few national councils, he participates in various national and international networks. For instance as a chair of a committee that commissions practice oriented research and a supervisory board of a large care organisation. He engages in music, being an active member of a choir and organising professional singers to perform for people with dementia and severe mental impairments. Finally, he is involved in developing a caring community in the village where he lives, as he believes that citizens have a responsibility to organise care and mutual support.


Countries Netherlands;
Topics Care innovations; Care integration/ coordination; Care trajectories; Co-production in LTC; Community-based LTC; Deinstitutionalisation; Dementia care and support; Financing LTC; Governance and LTC systems organisation; Local care ecosystems; LTC Policy; LTC Systems; New models of care; Quality and accreditation for LTC services; Residential LTC services; Unpaid / informal care;
Methods Co-production methods; Comparative policy analysis; Document analysis; Ethnography; Knowledge-exchange; Literature reviews and synthesis; Policy analysis; Qualitative studies; Theory and frameworks; Theory of Change;
Role Research;
Key publications

Nies H. Key elements in effective partnership working. In: Glasby J, Dickinson H (eds). International Perspectives on Health and Social Care: Partnership Working in Action. Blackwell, 2009: 56-67.

Glendinning C, Tjadens F, Arksey H, Morée M, Moran N, Nies H. Care Provision within Families and its Socio-Economic Impact on Care Providers. Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, 2009.

Nies H, Meerveld J, Denis R. Dementia Care: Linear Links and Networks. Healthcare Papers, 2009, vol 10, no.1: 34-43.

Leichsenring K, Billings J, Nies H. (red). Long-term care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.

Nies H., Leichsenring K, Mak S. The emerging identity of long-term care systems in Europe. In: In: Leichsenring K, Billings J, Nies H. (eds.). Long-term Care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013: 19-41.

Leichsenring K, Nies H, van der Veen, R. The quest for quality in long-term care. In: Leichsenring K, Billings J, Nies H. (eds.). Long-term Care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013: 167-190.

Rodrigues R, Nies H. Making sense of differences – the mixed economy of funding and delivering long-term care. In: Leichsenring K, Billings J, Nies H. (eds.). Long-term Care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013: 191-212.

Leichsenring K, Billings J. Nies H. Improving policy and practice in long-term care. In: Leichsenring K, Billings J, Nies H. (eds.). Long-term Care in Europe. Improving Policy and Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013: 325-336.

Nies, H., Veen, R. van der, Leichsenring, K. (2013). Quality measurement and improvement in long-term care. In: OECD/European Commission, A good life in old age. Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-term Care. OECD Health Policy Studies, OECD Publishing, 223-246.

Nies, H. (2014). Communities as co-producers in integrated care. International Journal of Integrated Care, ISSN 1568-4156.

Nies, H. (2016). The Journey towards Community-Based Dementia Care: The Destination, Roadmap, Guide, Tour Group and The Conditions. Healthcare papers, 16 (2): 57-63. DOI: 10.12927/hcpap.2017.25001

Glimmerveen, L. M., Ybema, S. B. & Nies, H. L. G. R. Empowering citizens or mining resources? The contested domain of citizen engagement in professional care services. 1 Apr 2018 Social Science and Medicine. 203, p. 1-8 8 p. DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.03.013

Nies, H., Leichsenring, K. (2018). Concepts and strategies of quality assurance in care for older people. In: Boll,T., Ferring, D., Valsiner, J. (eds). Cultures of care in ageing. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing Inc.: 347-371.

Glimmerveen L, Nies H, Ybema S. Citizens as Active Participants in Integrated Care: Challenging the Field’s Dominant Paradigms. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(1):6. DOI:

Glimmerveen, L, Ybema, S., Nies, H. Engaged yet excluded: The processual, dispersed, and political dynamics of boundary work. Human Relations, 23 October 2019, 1-33

Kaehne, A., Nies, H. (eds) (2021). How to deliver Integrated Care: A Guidebook for Managers. Bingley: Emerald Publishers. DOI: 10.1108/9781838675271

Koster, L., Nies, H. (2021). It takes three to tango: An ethnography of triadic involvement of residents, families and nurses in long-term dementia care. Health Expectations, 2021; 00:1-11.

Nies, H., Minkman, M., Maar, C. van (2021). Integrated Care for Frail Older People Suffering from Dementia and Multi-morbidity. In: Amelung, V., Stein, V., Suter, E., Goodwin, N., Nolte, E., Balicer, R. (eds) Handbook Integrated Care (edition 2). Cham: Springer: 719-732. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-69262-9

Albers, M., Gobbens, R., Reitsma, M., Timmermans, O., Nies, H. (2021). Learning and Innovation Network in nursing: a concept analysis. Nurse Education Today. Volume 104, September 2021, 104988.

Glimmerveen, L., Ybema, S., Nies, H. (2021) Who participates in public participation? The exclusionary effects of inclusionary efforts. Administration & Society, August 11,

Henk Nies, Diny Stekelenburg, Lian Stouthard, Barbara de Groen (2021). Transforming primary health care during the pandemic. Securing care for older people during the pandemic with out of hours primary care. Country vignette – The Netherlands. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe.

Nies H, Stekelenburg D, Minkman M, Huijsman R. A Decade of Lessons Learned from Integration Strategies in the Netherlands. International Journal of Integrated Care, 2021; X(X): X, 1–13. DOI:

Duijn, S. van, Bannink, D., Nies, H. (2022). Analysing boundaries of health and social care in policy and media. Policy & Politics, 9 February: 1-19

Simons, M, Goossensen, A, Nies, H. (2022). Interventions fostering interdisciplinary and interorganizational collaboration in health and social care; an integrative literature review. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice. March 26, 2022.

Wieringen, M. van, Kee, K., Gobbens, R., Nies, H., Groenwegen, P. (2022). Exploring crucial programme characteristics and group mechanisms of an empowerment programme for certified nursing assistants – a qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 78, 9: 2949-2959.

Vermunt, P., Reijmer, Y, van Biessum, C., de Groot, V., van den Berg, B., Nies, H.. (2023) Improving the quality of care in nursing home organizations with urgent quality issues: Design and effectiveness of a Dutch government-funded support programme. BMC Health Services Research.

Kee, K., Nies, H., van Wieringen, M. and Beersma, B., 2023. From Integrated Care to Integrating Care: A Conceptual Framework of Behavioural Processes Underlying Effective Collaboration in Care. International Journal of Integrated Care, 23(4), p.4.DOI: