European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

EU-OSHA Campaign – Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load

Brussels, 12 October 2020

The EU-level Sectoral Social Partners for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS), the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) applied to become official campaign partner of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load.

Marta Branca, Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM, said: “Sustainable participation of all health professionals is the most direct contribution to dealing with potential workforce-related issues. HOSPEEM will continue to promote the creation and maintenance of the safest possible workplaces and to promote active participation in continuing professional development (CPD) and life-long learning (LLL) for all health professionals. Ergonomic design is needed to improve healthcare facilities and to overcome the possible future decline in numbers of healthcare workers. I am convinced that our work and initiatives in the field of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the framework of the EU SSDC HS will lead to safer and healthier workplaces across Europe.”

Jan-Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, stressed that “MSDs are by far the most common work-related health problem among European workers. The social and economic consequences of this are now becoming abundantly clear. Millions of workers are no longer able to do certain tasks or even have to stop work altogether before retirement age. EPSU is strongly convinced that the wellbeing at work is a fundamental right, and we are ready to cooperate with employers to ensure it.”

Recent European statistics underline the need to address prevention of MSD in the health sector: The 2019 European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks showed that 59% establishments in the sector reported existing risk factors such as painful positions and 54% lifting or moving people or heavy loads. These findings are supported by results from the 6th European Working Conditions Survey, which highlighted that 47% of respondents working in the sector reported backache in the past 12 months.

To keep MSD high on the European and national agenda, coordinated responses from social partners are needed that are also in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU’s Framework Directive on OSH and the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work.
Next to becoming official campaign partners, we set out to:
1.) Update the existing HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010);
2.) Continue the discussion among European social partners to exchange good practices and strategies in the field of MSD;
3.) Continue to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level.

Throughout the years, HOSPEEM and EPSU have considered MSD of great importance in the health sector, e.g. by carrying out a project on MSDs and psycho-social risks and stress at work. The cooperation of employers and trade unions is fundamental in successfully managing and preventing MSDs.

Download the Press Release

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Brussels, 24/09/2020

Every year more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe, including 7.3 million nurses, are potentially exposed to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic hazardous drugs. Studies show that hospital workers who handle cytotoxic drugs are three times more likely to develop malignancy and that nurses exposed to cytotoxic drugs are twice as likely to miscarry. The health hazard for handling these drugs is a significant concern as they are not only classified as potentially carcinogenic but also mutagenic (mutating genetic material) and reprotoxic (interfering with reproduction).

For HOSPEEM, it is particularly important to address handling techniques of hazardous medicinal products that are in line with national legislative specificities. While hospitals and healthcare employers are required to undertake risk assessments, it is clear that for example replacement of hazardous medicinal products is not an option for most cases, as patients still need these products for cancer and other treatments. Therefore, the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive need to clarify the terminology “technically possible” as stipulated in Article 5 (2, 3) “employers shall ensure that the carcinogen or mutagen is, in so far as is technically possible, manufactured and used in a closed system. Where a closed system is not technically possible, the employer shall ensure that the level of exposure of workers is reduced to as low a level as is technically possible.”

HOSPEEM and EPSU call the European Commission to include in its CMD4 report or accept parliamentary amendments for the revision of the CMD in 2020-2021 that include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, as a category in Appendix I. Healthcare workers and patients deserve to be protected by legislation now through measures that are legally binding for all the actors in healthcare, with the best possible systems of work, technology as well as education and training to avoid the risk of toxic and genetic damage and associated diseases resulting from exposure to hazardous drugs.

FULL TEXT:

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work

Brussels, 16 July 2020

A decade ago, the European Sectoral Social Partners, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce, CoESS identified third-party violence and harassment at the workplace as one of the key health and safety challenges to face within the European Economic Area and signed the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work. In 2018, EUPAE and TUNED joined these organisations in their work to tackle this pressing issue.

To this date, the Guidelines remain the only instrument signed by multiple European sectoral Social Dialogue Committees and are considered one of the significant achievements of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue.

Today, the Guidelines’ signatories reaffirm that their respective sectors continue to address third-party violence and all forms of harassment related to work, ensuring that, in the upcoming years, each workplace has a targeted results-oriented policy, also in the context of initiatives of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Download the Joint statement

The year 2019 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2019 is published. This activity report presents key information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2019 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe” has successfully started with regional workshops taking place in Bucharest in June 2019 and in Rome in November 2019.

Secondly, several HOSPEEM experts and representatives shared their knowledge across Europe joining their efforts to actively represent members’ views in the European arena.

Thirdly, a new work programme 2020-2022 for the European sectoral social dialogue was successfully adopted.

Download the report

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Work Programme 2020-2022 for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector

At the last meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS) in 2019, HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2020-2022. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e Occupational Safety and health, recruitment and retention of the health workforce,  Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, European/ EU-level healthcare policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – EN

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – streamlined version – EN

The year 2018 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2018 is published. This activity report presents basic information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2018 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, HOSPEEM and EPSU celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Code of conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in April 2018.

Secondly, the conference “A sound mind in a sound body- Taking care of those who take care of us” has been organised in Vilnius on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks and stress at work in May 2018.

Thirdly, a dissemination workshop on Occupational Safety and Health and Continuing Professionnal Development took place in the European Parliament in Brussel, hosted by two MEPs in December 2018.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the report

 

December HOSPEEM Newsletter is published

In this December 2018 edition of the newsletter, you will find information on the Social Partner’s Dissemination Workshop on Occupational Safety and Health and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), HOSPEEM news, news from our Members in France and in Lithuania.

This newsletter includes also relevant EU News, events and publications for hospital employers.

HOSPEEM Newsletter 2018 – Issue 5 (17 December 2018)

Social Partner’s Dissemination Workshop on Occupational Safety and Health and Continuing Professional Development

On 3 December 2018 HOSPEEM and EPSU organised in the European Parliament in Brussels the social partners’ dissemination workshop entitled “Taking stock and the way forward”. The workshop gathered approximately 30 participants from health professional organisations as well as actors from the employment sector as well as EU institutions and agencies.

The event was hosted by MEP Jana Žitňanská (ECR, Slovakia), rapporteur of the EP Report on Pathways for the reintegration of workers recovering from injury and illness into quality employment (2017/2277(INI)), adopted on 12 June 2018, co-hosted by MEP Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy) and moderated by Lodewijk Buschkens, EU-Affairs Manager, StAZ (Dutch Social Partner Organisation for Hospitals). In a written message to the workshop MEP Brando Benifei underlined that “the well-being, economic independence, self-determination and motivation of the [workforce] are key factors of ambitious recruitment and retention in the healthcare sector and in the provision of quality services for end-users.” He also underlined that “The healthcare sector needs a supportive legislative framework for the social dialogue between employees and employers in all Member States and transnationally, and recognition of its values to the economy and society”.

The workshop event helped to present and discuss the main outcomes from two joint projects on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life Long Learning (LLL) and on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) – focusing on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks and stress at the workplace (PSRS@W) with the EU-level partner organisations of health professionals and health management as well as with the European Parliament, the European Commission and EU-OSHA. Read more on the first project focusing on MSD and PSR and done between 2014 and 2016 on the HOSPEEM or EPSU webpage and on the second project focusing on CPD & LLL and taking again up MSD and PSRS@W, started in late 2017 and ending in early 2019, on the HOSPEEM or EPSU webpage.

To better disseminate the projects’ results at European and national level a media toolkit has been prepared by the HOSPEEM Secretariat containing all relevant links to the dedicated webpages and project deliverables (reports, media releases, videos, graphical recording etc.).

A video message from Marta Branca, HOSPEEM Vice-Secretary General presented an overview of the importance of continuous training and recruitment and retention policies for healthcare workers across Europe.

Nico Knibbe, project consultant, gave an overview on main insights from four conferences organised between 2015and 2018 in the context of the two projects “Assessing health and safety risks in the hospital sector and the role of the social partners in addressing them: the case of musculoskeletal disorders and psycho-social risks and stress at work” (2014-2016) and “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to Continuing Professional Development and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (2017-2019). In his presentation he also illustrated some of the take-home messages elaborated at the four conferences in Paris (HOSPEEM – EPSU), Helsinki (HOSPEEM – EPSU), Amsterdam (HOSPEEM – EPSU) and Vilnius (HOSPEEM – EPSU) and contained in the four conference reports.

Participants also listened to two presentations illustrating good practices developed and implemented by national social partners in Denmark and in the Netherlands.

  • Jette Steenberg Holtzmann and Winnie Lund, Capital Region of Denmark, presented the so-called “Bridge Model”, a competence development programme designed to enhance interprofessional collaboration between professionals and institutions of the hospital sector, of primary care and social care. Have a look at their presentation, a video the presenters showed and an information brochure on the bridge model.
  • Anouk ten Arve, Stichting IZZ, presented insights from a research showing that organisational differences in the health care utilisation of health care sector employees are related to differences in the organisational climate and that healthcare organisations with a positive organisational climate score lower on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and emotional exhaustion. Have a look at their presentation, a video the presenters showed and an information brochure on the IZZ research and project.

Mathias Maucher, EPSU, and Simone Mohrs, HOSPEEM, concluded the dissemination workshop by elaborating on some of the planned next steps by HOSPEEM and EPSU, building on the insights and take home messages from the two projects. For the first project HOSPEEM and EPSU agreed on planned follow-up activities, contained in a document with the take home messages from the conferences in Paris and Helsinki. For the second document this document still has to be finalised until early 2019.

The dissemination workshop offered the opportunity to connect and exchange ideas between sectorial social partners’, experts in the health and employment sector as well as decision-makers.

Relevant documents:
PDF - 304.4 koAgenda Invitation
PDF - 304.4 koPoster
PDF - 304.4 koBiographies

Presentations

PDF - 304.4 koSetting The Scene, Nico Knibbe, Project Consultant, LOCOmotion
PDF - 304.4 koBRIDGE Model – A competency development programme designed to enhance interprofessional
collaboration, shared knowledge and patient and citizen involvement across sectors, Jette
Steenberg Holtzmann, Head of Office at Centre for HR and Winnie Lund, Development Consultant
and Project Leader at HR & Education, The Capital Region of Denmark
PDF - 304.4 koOrganisational climate, Anouk ten Arve, Programme Manager and Babette Bronkhorst, Project Manager, Stichting IZZ

EPSU also published an article on this topic.

Picture credits: HOSPEEM-EPSU, 2018

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This project is supported with funds from the European Commission

Speech video of EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, 23 & 24 May 2018, Vilnius

Speech video of Vytenis Andriukaitis – EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, 23 & 24 May 2018, Vilnius

All the videos of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Conference “A sound mind in a sound body – taking care of those who take care of us” are available on the conference webpage.

On 23 and 24 May 2018 this second conference of the HOSPEEMEPSU project “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (2017-2018) took place in Vilnius (co-organised by LSADPS and supported by EPSU). The aim of this conference on Occupational Safety and Health was to pursue and expand the social partners’ thematic focus on  the prevention and reduction of MSD and PSRS@W.