Thomas as inspiration

'Thomas should not be expected to integrate into the care sector, but care should be integrated into the everyday world.'

Based on a true story

Thomas was a boy with a non-congenital intellectual disability. He was living in an institution. Over time, discussions between his parents and care staff became ever more heated. The institution was detached and impersonal, adhering to rigid rules and protocols. But Thomas’s parents wanted their son to receive love and attention in a caring, engaged environment. Eventually, Thomas’s father decided to take matters into his own hands. He would organize his son’s care himself. Core values such as a homely atmosphere, committed care professionals, a minimum of bureaucracy and an abundance of love for fellow human beings came together. The result was the Thomashuis concept: a home for Thomas and, eventually, a thousand other Thomases.

The corner shop principle

Interest and engagement, a homely atmosphere and the human touch: this reminded Thomas’s father of the little corner shops that were once part of every community. The owner would live literally ‘above the shop’. He knew all his customers and their needs. In the father’s vision, the people responsible for care would also live on the premises. This would create short lines of communication and the shopkeeper’s sense of involvement and engagement would be replicated in the care sector. Thomas’s home would also be home to the people who looked after him every day.

Continuity through franchising

To establish a simple concept which nevertheless does justice to the essential core values, it was decided to develop a franchise formula. Each Thomashuis would be independently operated by ‘care entrepreneurs’ who live alongside their residents.

This approach ensures that the Thomashuis is a real ‘home’ for all concerned. It creates short lines of communication, fosters a sense of engagement and introduces close personal interaction, just as in a family setting. Because the care entrepreneurs are directly involved in the home as a business venture, their dedication is unmatched. There are no surplus management levels and no interminable case meetings. Instead, residents enjoy close attention from people they know and trust.

The franchise approach allows these principles to be replicated with no loss of value. It also guarantees stability for residents. Their Thomashuis will be their home for as long as they want.

Precisely the same principles were observed when developing our other healthcare formulas: Herbergier, Zorgbutler and Thomas Op Kamers. And these principles will continue to form the bedrock of everything that De Drie Notenboomen does in future.

More about franchising in the care sector and our other care formulas