There are two types of Affiliated Partners that may be designated at this stage:
Associated National Centres Associated National Centres will participate in one Network only and, as defined in the 2017 Board Statement, are healthcare providers “with at least some special expertise matching the global thematic domain of a given reference network that concentrates primarily on the provision of healthcare directly related to the activities and services of this specific network, including any type of diagnostic contribution supporting this provision of healthcare. Associated National Centres can therefore comprise any of the following institutions:
clinics and departments/clinical units providing direct outpatient and/or inpatient services to patients;
medical and genetic diagnostic laboratories;
specific facilities for instrument-based diagnostics”.
National Coordination Hubs National Coordination Hubs establish a link with more than one Network at once and, as defined in the 2017 Board Statement, comprise “any type of institution with the appropriate knowledge and the legal and organizational capacity to link the national healthcare system to a number or all European Reference Networks. National Coordination Hubs function as interfaces between the national healthcare system and those Networks where a given Member State is neither represented by a full member nor by an Associated National Centre. National Coordination Hubs do not need any specific medical expertise or knowledge and their composition might range from:
a major national healthcare provider […];
a network of healthcare providers coordinated at national level;
a non-hospital based, specifically assigned institution as contact and coordination point linking the ERNs with the national system […]” such as the National Contact Points created by the 2011 Cross Border Healthcare Directive.