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Issue 3 - July 2020


Dear reader reader,

In this edition of the newsletter, you will find information about the recent HOSPEEM activities, news from our members as well as relevant EU News, events and publications for hospital employers.

The health systems across Europe are currently responding to increased demand for services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these exceptional circumstances, workforce leaders and employers have deployed specific guidance, innovative tools and new processes to support and protect their workforce while ensuring the efficient provision of health services in this rapidly developing situation. The European institutions have launched several initiatives to enhance the resilience of national health systems and to strengthen the healthcare workforce aiming for a stronger, healthier and sustainable Europe. In this context, HOSPEEM and EPSU have emphasised the importance of Social Partners involvement in a joint letter to European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, calling for considering Social Partners in the EU4Health Programme. HOSPEEM and EPSU believe it is essential that the programme should be built on the experience and contribution of those that operate hospitals and healthcare facilities as well as those that provide healthcare services in Europe.

This summer brought some changes at HOSPEEM. We are pleased to welcome a new observer member, Zorgnet-Icuro, the Flemish network of care organisation and we are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with the new representative, Sylvie Slangen (Belgium). Furthermore, Sebastian Günther (Germany) took over as the representative of VKA to HOSPEEM from 1 July 2020. HOSPEEM would like to express its gratitude for the work of Evelyn Kozak over the past years.

This newsletter has been conceived as interactive tools to facilitate the flow of communication from the EU level, to support the exchange of information between our members and to give your organisation's voice a broader diffusion across Europe. Therefore, you are invited to send us your contributions for future issues.

Enjoy your reading!

Marta Branca
Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM


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

On 16 July, HOSPEEM and the signatories of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work published a statement on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the guidelines. The Guidelines’ signatories reaffirmed that their respective sectors continue to address third-party violence and all forms of harassment related to work.
Joint Statement MSG anniversary_950x568

HOSPEEM Steering Committee in June 2020

HOSPEEM held its Steering Committee (SC) on 3 June (online). The Steering Committee discussed the Secretariats activities, updates from the HOSPEEM expert groups and the ongoing activities of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Project on strengthening social dialogue. The Steering Committee also discussed the necessity of potential changes to the joint Work Programme resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

HOSPEEM-EPSU Presidential Team meeting

The HOSPEEM Steering Committee met the EPSU Presidential Team (video conference) on 18 June 2020 to discuss potential revisions of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Work Programme 2020-2022. It was concluded that a joint HOSPEEM-EPSU Expert Group would be established to collect evidence and good practices to supplement the revision process.

HOSPEEM-EPSU Strengthening social dialogue project

The first regional workshop report on "Eastern Europe" and second regional report on "Southern Europe" as well as the ten national sectoral social dialogue fact sheets of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector are available online. The third regional workshop and final dissemination workshop events are likely to be postponed to 2021 due to the exceptional circumstances.


Zorgnet-Icuro joins HOSPEEM

Zorgnet-Icuro has recently joined HOSPEEM as an observer member. Zorgnet Icuro is the employers’ association in Belgium representing the Flemish network of care organisations. Zorgnet Icuro is the employers’ association in Belgium representing the Flemish network of care organisations. The organisation aims to defend shared interests and represent them at Flemish, national and international level. The network also promotes knowledge and expertise sharing. More than 775 recognized care organizations are members such as general and acute hospitals, university hospitals, mental health services and facilities for elderly care, in particular residential care centers.

NHS Confederation campaign "NHS Reset"

NHS Reset is a new NHS Confederation campaign to contribute to the public debate on what the health and care system should look like in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has changed the NHS, ushering in rapid transformation at a time of immense pressure and professional challenge. The NHS Reset campaign aims to lead a path from the current operational challenges to the future strategic opportunities COVID-19 will bring. The NHS is looking forward to supporting its members to accelerate new thinking and facilitate changes to service delivery. To support this work, NHS will bring together learning from across the breadth of their membership including through their offices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and through their international relationships.


European Parliament adopts resolution on the EUs public health strategy post-COVID-19

The European Parliament adopted a resolution, among others calling on the Commission to propose a directive on minimum standards for quality healthcare, based on the findings of the stress tests, maintaining the competence of Member States in the management, organisation and funding of their healthcare systems, but guaranteeing patient safety, decent working and employment standards for healthcare workers and also calling on the Commission to urgently present a new Action Plan on the EU Health Workforce.

European Commission proposes 9.4 billion EUR EU4Health Programme

The new programme will have three main priorities, among them to strengthen health systems and the health care workforce, notably through health promotion and disease prevention. According to Anne Bucher, Director General of the DG SANTE, the programme will need to be dynamic and flexible to adapt to emerging new challenges, and to serve the evolving needs and priorities of the EU and the Member States. A specific action will be launched under EU4Health as of 1 January 2021.

European Commission publishes the European Semester Country-Specific Recommendations

This year's country-specific recommendations take into account the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the activation of the general escape clause under the Stability and Growth Pact on 20 March 2020. It is the first time in the history of the European Semester that every EU Member State received a recommendation on healthcare, among others to enhance the resilience of their national health systems.

Germany started its Presidency of the Council of the EU

Along the lines of Together for Europes recovery, the German government puts forward its programme for the next six months, among others addressing Europes response on the pandemic and aiming for a more robust, innovative, fairer and sustainable Europe. In regards to healthcare, the programme focuses on digitalisation and AI.

European Commission publishes an update to the biological agents directive

The European Commission amended Annex III to Directive 2000/54/EC of the European Parliament and the Council as regards the inclusion of SARS-CoV-2 in the list of biological agents.

European Commission opens public Consultation for the European Pillar of Social Rights

Stakeholders are invited to express their views on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights until 30 November 2020.


20-30/07/2020: European Observatory Summer School, The hospital of the future in times of COVID-19, organised by the European Observatory for Health Systems and Policy

24/07/2020: Mapping national health workforce planning and policies: where do we go from here? Open webinar of the SEPEN expert network

30/06/2020: Consultation on Critical Infrastructure hosted by DG HOME The Consultation discussed the possibility to include new sectors, such as the healthcare and hospital sectors, within the scope of the EC Directive on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The Directive is currently covering the Energy and Transport sectors as which seems to be limited given the current challenges (cybercrime, climate change and recently the Corona crisis).

25/06/2020: Webinar on How COVID-19 affects Europeans and the EU labour market, organised by Eurofound

23/06/2020: Webinar on COVID-19, EU Transition, and the Welsh health and social care sector, organised by the Welsh NHS Confederation The speakers of the webinar discussed how establishing new future relationships, a UK-EU trade agreement, and new immigration policy has changed in light of the international efforts against COVID-19.

22/06/2020: Webinar on Nurses training and core competences: from digital skills to continuity of care and leadership skills, organised by Health First Europe and EHMA. The participants discussed how health care systems and policymakers could support nurses education and training to develop their core skills for delivering care in 2020 and beyond. HOSPEEM was among the commentators, providing its perspective on nurses’ core skills, in the framework of continuing education and learning

17/06/2020: Informal meeting to discuss the Hospital sector representativeness study, organised by Eurofound. HOSPEEM and EPSU exchanged views on the outcomes of the study, also in the context of capacity building policies.

17/06/2020: Webinar on Challenges of the health workforce in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, organised by SEPEN Consortium

11/06/2020: EU4Health Stakeholders Seminar, hosted and organised by MEP Cristian Busoi. At the seminar, MEP Busoi, rapporteur of the EU4Health Programme in the European Parliament, provided his first intentions of the programme, followed by remarks of the Shadows Rapporteurs present and interventions from different stakeholders. The participants agreed that the new programme should have a significant focus on prevention and health in all policy.

10/06/2020: Webinar on AI in Outbreak Management, organised by Health First Europe and My City-Lab. The Webinar discusses how AI applications can be implemented into risk management practices to prevent and to prepare healthcare systems against infectious disease epidemics better.

08/06/2020: Social partner hearing on Action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, organised by the European Commission. At the meeting, the European Commission highlighted the elements of the envisioned Action plan: active labour market policy, strengthen skills and social dialogue as well as addressing occupational health. Additionally, the Action plan will focus on working conditions, exploring initiatives on the right to disconnect. CEEP called upon the European Commission to foster national ownership and implementation of its principles via the European Semester, as well as the need to fully translate in full the principles on access to services in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

27/05/2020: Webinar on Staff mental health protection in time of the pandemic, organised by the European Public Health Alliance. The speakers, among others representatives of Mental Health Europe, shared their experience and perspectives on how to protect staff mental health and well-being during moments of extreme stress.

20/05/2020: Webinar Nightingale Challenge, the Nursing Now campaign. The webinar discussed how to help develop the next generation of young nurses and midwives as leaders, practitioners and advocates in health

15/05/2020: Webinar on The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers, organised by EPSU and EPA. The speakers discussed questions on the impact in the short and long term of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health and stress of the healthcare staff involved and what trade unions can do to support healthcare workers.

13/05/2020: Webinar on Preparing health care professionals to the ongoing digitalisation of care: Innovation readiness, digital leadership and literacy, organised by HFE and EHMA. The webinar discussed case studies and best practices to improve organisational and workforce digital readiness and obtain insights for the Joint Statement. Speakers include David Farrell from Health Education England who spoke about digital leadership, including best practices to ensure digital readiness at the organisational level with health managers.

05/05/2020: Webinar on AI in Genomics for delivering personalised medicine, organised by Health First Europe and My City-Lab. The meeting explored how AI can contribute to and support health care systems in the field of genomics to obtain personalised medicine.


HOSPEEM events
- 08/10/2020 HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Online
- 17/11/2020 HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels (TBC)

- 09/10/2020 SSDC-HS Expert Group meeting, Brussels
- 18/11/2020 SSDC-HS Plenary 2020, Brussels (TBC)
- Spring 2021 (TBC) Regional workshop 3 on Strengthening Social Dialogue in Central Europe, Zagreb
- Summer 2021 (TBC) Dissemination Workshop on Strengthening Social Dialogue, Brussels

Other events
- 31/07/2020 Webinar "Better COVID-19 preparedness through accreditation and implementation of hospital management systems", organised by EHMA.
- 09/09/2020 Webinar on Preparing Health Care Professionals for ‘Future’ Healthcare Challenges (AI and Robotics), organised by the Thematic Network on Profiling and Training the health care workers of the future”.
- 24/09/2020 Stakeholder conference for a study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products, including cytotoxic medicinal products, organised by COWI.
- 29/09/2020 EU-OSHA MSD Healthy Workplace Campaign stakeholder meeting.
- 29/09/2020 BeMedTech webinar on Preventing healthcare workers injuries from sharp objects: the way forward for Belgium.
- 30/09/2020 Online European Health Forum Gastein 2020Dancing with elephants - New partnerships for health, democracy, business.
- 13/10/2020 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council.
- 26/10/2020 EU Health Summit: Time for Action.


European cross-sectoral social partners publish Framework Agreement on digitalisation

This framework agreement is the shared commitment of the European cross-sectoral social partners to optimise the benefits and deal with the challenges of digitalisation in the world of work.

European Commission report on the impact of demographic change

The report presents the main drivers of demographic change and their impact across Europe. The report is the first step in the process that will assist in the identification of concrete actions and solutions, mindful of lessons learned from COVID-19, to support people, regions and communities.

European Commission Guidance on the free movement of health professionals and minimum harmonisation of training concerning COVID-19 emergency measures – recommendations regarding Directive 2005/36/EC

The guidance aims to ensure the free movement of health workers during the pandemic, among others also providing derogations, allowing that the completion of the training in line with the Directive could be achieved in different ways, for example by professional experience gained during the emergency or afterwards, further specialised training or continuous professional development programmes.

Eurofound research report on COVID-19 policy responses across Europe

Drawing on the content of Eurofound’s COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database of around 500 policy initiatives (April 2020), this report aims to present an overview of both large-scale government measures and collective agreements that impact on large groups of workers, setting this in the context of the evolving labour market situation.

Eurofound report on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking – 2019

This report analyses the quality of the national social partners involvement in designing and implementing reforms and policies in the context of the European Semester 2018–2019 and in the elaboration of the National Reform Programmes.

ECDC guidance on discharge and end isolation of hospitalised patients in the context of COVID-19

This document guides planning discharge and ending isolation for COVID-19 patients in the context of the phase of ongoing widespread community transmission.

European Observatory for Health Systems and Policy on the changing role of the hospital in European Health Systems

In this new study, a team of world-leading policy experts and clinicians analyse the changing role of the hospital across Europe, a process being driven by a changing environment and evolving needs.

Letter from Members of the European Parliament call for debates and negotiations for a stronger European Union in health

Twenty Members of the European Parliament (MEPS) call on the European Commission and the European Council to consider Treaty changes in the frame of the Conference on the Future of Europe. According to the letter, the role of health policy in the European Treaties should be reconsidered in order to tackle the constitutional asymmetry between strong regulatory and weak implementing powers of the EU in this area.

EU-OSHA paper on musculoskeletal disorders in the healthcare sector

This discussion paper reviews the literature on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in healthcare workplaces. It presents an overview of MSDs and their prevalence in the healthcare sector, reviews the risk factors and discusses effective interventions to prevent, reduce and manage MSDs in healthcare workplaces.

EU-OSHA ESENER 2019 interactive data visualisation on occupational health and safety

ESENER 2019 survey results on occupational health and safety are now available in interactive data visualisation on the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) website.

NHS Confederation COVID-19 Guidance for NHS workforce leaders

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England (PHE), Health Education England and NHS Employers have collated the latest workforce advice into one central resource for workforce leaders in the NHS.

NHS Confederation infographic on "Pandemic ready? Charting a future relationship with the EU to help manage another coronavirus

This infographic charting explores how could post-Brexit negotiations affect the ability of the UK to manage another coronavirus. The Brexit Health Alliance (BHA) has produced an infographic charting what a future relationship with the EU could look like, to help manage another coronavirus.

ILO report "In the face of a pandemic: Ensuring Safety and Health at Work"

This report was issued for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2020 and explores measures to prevent and control the risk of contagion, psychosocial risks, ergonomic and other work-related safety and health risks associated with the pandemic.

ILO Report on Employers Organisations participation in skills governance systems

This report is Phase II of the “Employer Organizations and the Governance of TVET and Skills Systems” project which represents a collaboration between the Skills and Employability Branch (SKILLS) and the Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

WHO tools help hospitals manage the surge in COVID-19 patients

The Health Workforce Estimator assist countries in estimating the numbers of health workers needed based on projected numbers of moderate, severe and critical patients per day. The Adaptt Surge Planning Support Tool, intended for planners, focuses on surge planning.
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