We both have a social mission, which helps us reinforce one another

23 April 2024 - 

Are you feeling mentally strained and does this lead to a crisis? Then you naturally prefer to recover at home. Still, a clinical admission is necessary sometimes. GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord is working hard to provide this care as professionally as possible – in an environment that promotes recovery. It does this, among other things, by building new, up-to-date facilities made possible in part by smart financing from BNG Bank.

‘Our Willibrordus Estate in Heiloo is an important place for us’, says Daan de Jong, director of operations at GGZ NHN. 'It's been our home base since the '30s. A number of buildings dating back to the 80s no longer fit the way we want to provide care now and in the future. That's why we've been thinking about new construction to replace these since 2016, a process we're now taking major steps in.' 

Homely atmosphere

An important part of the new development is the High & Intensive Care building, which offers 60 places for short-term stays. ‘This new building is aimed at working in a more flexible and easy way’, says Daan. ‘But at least as important is the attention we’re paying to the interior. We’re creating a healing environment, which focuses on natural elements such as nature, daylight, fresh air and silence. It’s been scientifically proven that this helps our clients recover faster and better.’ 

Daan de Jong GGZ NHN

A great deal of care has been paid to sustainability in constructing the buildings. They will, for example, be completely gas-free and solar panels will be installed on the roofs and on the site, as will a thermal and cold storage system. Daan: ‘We’ll demolish the old buildings in a circular manner with a focus on recycling. We’re also investing in an enticing environment for our clients, with lots of green, roof gardens and newly planted trees.’

Help from the guarantee fund

For GGZ NHN, the process of seeking funding began with writing an information memorandum. ‘Which is kind of like a business case’, Daan said. ‘Including financial substantiation. We also met with the Healthcare Guarantee Fund (Waarborgfonds voor de zorgsector, or WFZ) to determine together the amount of funding they wanted to guarantee. We additionally engaged a financial adviser who specialises in supporting civil society organisations.’ 

The adviser put Daan in touch with BNG Bank. The first meeting was with Selma Huizer, Senior Healthcare Relationship Manager at BNG Bank: ‘I was immediately pleased with their information memorandum; it was very succinct and well-organised. Next, I assess the application together with a financial specialist. We do this by, among other things, answering questions such as: what is the money going to be used for and does this fit our strategy? We incorporate the financing application in a credit proposal that we submit to our Credit Committee after a second opinion from our Risk team.’ 


Cash and consolidation

The financing application totals 32.5 million euros. Selma: ‘The loan totals 32.5 million euros. Of this amount, 21.5 million are “solvency-free”. This means that the WFZ guarantees this amount. We finance the remaining 11 million at our own risk, for which we use a tailor-made financing structure with cash and consolidation loans. Cash is short-term loans, which can be seen as a type of building account. During construction, GGZ NHN can withdraw up to 11 million euros. We then consolidate the cash into a long-term loan of 15 years.’ 

‘If you make such a huge commitment, a bank naturally wants to know how you plan to guarantee your continuity’, says Daan. For example, BNG Bank talked about how GGZ NHN deals with the recently introduced care performance model, the new funding system for the healthcare sector. Selma: ‘You could tell that GGZ NHN was well prepared for this. It’s clear they have a good organisation with a director at the helm who closely monitors developments in the sector.’

In addition, BNG Bank found that GGZ NHN continuously takes measures to deal with staff shortages and absenteeism. ‘The quality of administrative decisions and your financial management are also important’, says Daan. ‘You want to be able to prove that, as an organisation, you are capable of managing a large amount of funding like this.’ 

Personal touch 

Overall, Daan is very satisfied with the cooperation between GGZ NHN and BNG Bank. ‘It’s a stable and small organisation, which gives us confidence. And, of course, they don’t have a triple A rating for nothing. I also appreciate the bank’s personal touch; we've been working with them for two years now and we still have the same contact person. In addition, BNG Bank has no profit motive and a social mission – just like us. Not only does this create a bond, I also believe it allows us to reinforce one another.’ 

GGZ NHN High Intensive Care

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