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Issue 2 - April 2020


Dear HOSPEEM reader,

In the last weeks, Europe has been experiencing one of the biggest crises since the Second World War. To face this unprecedented situation the European Commission took, the lead in coordinating the temporary closure of Schengen’s external borders and has stepped into the area where its greatest competences lie: the economy, with seven billion euros mobilized to support small and medium-sized enterprises. While public health remains an exclusively national competence, the COVID-19 crisis represents yet another opportunity for the European project in which sectoral social partners have a voice and an important role at both national and EU level.

These days HOSPEEM’s thoughts are with the millions of health professional and health workers across Europe and others globally that, under these exceptional circumstances daily provide services to take care of patients at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, while national governments are taking different levels of confinement and containment measures.

In this edition of the newsletter, you will find information about the recent HOSPEEM activities, news from our members across Europe as well as relevant EU News, events and publications for hospital employers. 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 and Tjitte Alkema,
Vice-Secretary Generals of HOSPEEM


HOSPEEM Statement on COVID-19 outbreak

On 3 April 2020, HOSPEEM published a statement on the impact on the health services and the need to support joint measures across Europe.
Like in no other sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has a tremendous impact on the provision of health services and care, experienced in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Employers in the health sector are facing exceptional challenges that can only be tackled by joint initiatives from social partners, Member States’ governments, and the European institutions.

CEEP launch of the EU platform "SGIs facing COVID-19”

HOSPEEM is standing with our European cross-sectoral social partners’ organisation CEEP, which, together with fellow European sectoral social partner organisations, set up the “SGIs facing COVID-19” Platform to help facilitate and share practices between European and national social partners in the public services sector.


HOSPEEM held its General Assembly (GA) on 5 March February. HOSPEEM Members discussed the Secretariat’s activities, updates from members as well as the 2020 EU-OSHA Healthy Workplace Campaign on MSD EU. On 6 March 2020, at the first meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS), HOSPEEM and EPSU discussed the ongoing Eurofound Representativeness Study for the Hospital Sector and the work of the multi-sectoral task force on tackling violence and harassment at work. Also, HOSPEEM and EPSU opened a call for good practice presentations by social partners on the topic of active ageing.
In addition, information on the outbreak of acute respiratory syndrome associated with a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of 6 March was presented with a contribution from DG SANTE - Crisis Management and Preparedness in Health Unit.

Report and factsheets of the second Regional Workshop report on strengthening social dialogue in “Southern Europe” are now published

On 6 March 2020, the SSDC HS approved the regional workshop report “Southern Europe” and the six national sectoral social dialogue fact sheets on national sectoral social dialogue from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal and Greece in the frame of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe.

CPD & LLL material and guidance webpage is published

This dedicated webpage on the HOSPEEM website presents documents (guidance, handbooks, training material, good practice etc…) collected by national social partners on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long-Learning (LLL). HOSPEEM and EPSU would like to thank all the national social partners that contribute to this webpage by submitting materials.

Cooperation with EU-OSHA on the thematic webpage and OSHwiki article

In the frame of the new Work Programme, HOSPEEM had a call with representatives of EU-OSHA to discuss the update of the EU-OSHA thematic webpage on medical sharps and an OSHwiki article on the follow-up report on the implementation of medical sharps. The HOSPEEM Secretariat, together with EPSU is now in the process of drafting an outline for the article.


ZMT! programme in the Netherlands

The ZMT! programme is an initiative of NVZ, the HOSPEEM member in the Netherlands.
This program aims at a future-oriented and well-functioning labour market with sufficiently equipped and well-trained employees with the right skills in the right place. ZMT focuses on two pillars: working smarter and working together. Working smarter focuses on innovation in order to reduce workload (e.g.. digitalisation, technologization - skills). The second pillar focuses on cooperation in the field of strategic HR policy, including training.


Meeting of the members of the European Council (video-conference)

On 23 April, the members of the European Council discussed progress on the various dimensions of the European response to the pandemic. They welcomed the Joint European Roadmap which defines four key areas for action: a fully functioning Single Market, an unprecedented investment effort, acting globally, and a functioning system of governance. It also agreed to work towards establishing a recovery fund tasking the Commission to analyse the exact needs and to come up with a proposal urgently.

European Parliament approved more than €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Following the proposal of the European Commission and the approval of the Council, the Members of the European Parliament approved a total of €3.08 billion from the EU budget directed to the healthcare sector. Specifically, it will be channelled mainly through the Emergency Support Instrument (€2.7 billion) and rescEU (€380 million).

EU’s Emergency Support Instrument

The European Commission has activated the Instrument to support healthcare systems in EU countries. It will be used together with other EU tools, for example, the rescEU medical stockpile, which is receiving €300 million in addition to the initially proposed allocation of €80 million, to support the distribution of medical equipment across the EU.

EC European roadmap to lifting coronavirus containment measures

Although the European Commission’s immediate priority is fighting the virus and mitigating the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, the EC is also looking ahead so that Member States can gradually lift their containment measures to enter the recovery phase and revitalise societies and economy. The roadmap highlights that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a gradual, science-based and effective lifting of containment measures, a highly coordinated way forward is a matter of common European interest.

EC Guidelines on EU emergency assistance in cross-border cooperation in healthcare related to the COVID-19 crisis

To support and encourage cross-border healthcare cooperation between national, regional and local authorities, the European Commission has today issued practical guidance to the Member States.

EU global response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

The European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a robust and targeted EU response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The EU's collective action will focus on addressing the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs, strengthening partner countries' health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, as well as mitigating the socio-economic impact.

Members of the European Council joint statement

On 26 March 2020, the members of the European Council adopted a statement on the EU actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, EU enlargement, the earthquake in Croatia and the situation at the EU's external borders.

New WHO tools launched to 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. It helps users to estimate the number of beds required for moderate, severe, and critical care, the dates of predicted bed shortages and the human resources needed. Technical guidance accompany the tools.

European Medical Organisations join together to raise awareness on Violence against Doctors and other Health Professionals

The European Medical Organisations call on governments and all stakeholders to act on the urgent need to protect medical personnel in the performance of their missions. Among others, the organisations ask for the establishment of an effective reporting and assisting mechanism for victims across Europe, for the implementation of violence prevention programmes and the enforcement of existing laws concerning violence against doctors and other health professionals in the workplace.” HOSPEEM and EPSU are planning to meet with the representatives to discuss the statement, also in light of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work.


16/04/2020: WHO Webinar on Protection of Health Workers in COVID19: Lessons Learned from China. The key topics on the agenda were occupational health inspection of healthcare facilities and workers health protection in environmental clean-up and disinfection.

07/04/2020: Thematic Network “on Profiling and training the health workers of the future” , organised by Health First Europe and the European Health Management Association. First Webinar on the Continuity and Coordination of Care: Preparing the healthcare workforce to meet the need of on chronic patients. The webinar discussed how health care professionals should be prepared to meet the needs of patients with chronic conditions. Specifically, the webinar explored heart failure and diabetes. Case studies on health workforce education and skills for the care of chronic diseases’ patients were presented to give practical examples of how education and training can improve continuity and coordination of care for those in need.

03/04/2020: ETUI Webinar “Working under pressure". The webinar addressed crisis reforms’ impact on social dialogue and collective bargaining in Europe as well as the quality of healthcare and education services and lessons to be learned for the current COVID-19 crisis

19/02/2020: Senior Labour Inspectorate Committee Working Group Enforcement. HOSPEEM and EPSU presented the findings of the medical sharps study at the Working Group for Enforcement and discussed potential next steps for the implementation of the medical Sharps Directive.

19/02/2020: Touch of Brussels, organised by the European Nurses Specialist Organisation (ESNO), Brussels. At this occasion, where health professionals, health networks and platform were represented, HOSPEEM presented its work in the field of Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning and on cross-border safe recruitment and retention. The event was organised in connection with the Forth ESNO Congress held on 20 February 2020.

13-14/02/2020: SEPEN Workshop on Health workforce planning supporting the quality of care, patient safety and working conditions, organised by SEPEN


HOSPEEM events
- 03/06/2020 HOSPEEM Steering Committee (video conference)
- 08/10/2020 HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels
- 17/11/2020 HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels

- 11/09/2020 Regional workshop 3 on Strengthening Social Dialogue in Central Europe, Zagreb (TBC)
- 09/10/2020 SSDC-HS Working Group 2
- 18/11/2020 SSDC-HS Plenary 2020
- 19/11/2020 Dissemination Workshop on Strengthening Social Dialogue, Brussels

Other events
- 06/05/2020 EHMA Webinar on Hospitals & COVID-19
- 13/05/2020 HFE & EHMA Webinar on Preparing health care professionals to the ongoing digitalisation of care: Innovation readiness, digital leadership and literacy
- 29/05/2020 Presentation of Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work at the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Telecommunications (TBC)
- 25/06/2020 EC 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 (TBC)


EU-OSHA, COVID – 19 – Back to the workplace - Adapting workplaces and protecting workers

The guidance which has been revised with the support of social partners contains links to national information on specific sectors and occupations. It includes information on risk assessment and appropriate measures, involving workers, taking care of workers who have been ill, planning and learning for the future, staying well informed and information for sectors and occupations, such as the health and care services.

ECDC Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19 in healthcare settings

This report focuses on measures to be applied in settings with increasing community transmission, growing demand for care of COVID-19 patients and ensuing staff issues in the event of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare facilities in EU/EEA countries and the United Kingdom. Regarding hospitals, the ECDC recommends measures on administration, patient management (PPE, aerosol generated procedures, Approaches for economising on the use of PPE in the event of shortages, Health monitoring and management of exposed staff’, discharge), Instructions for healthcare professionals and healthcare facility staff, Environmental cleaning and waste management and laboratory testing.

EC Call for tender for the study to support the evaluation of the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2014-2020.

According to the publication, the contractor shall analyse what are the achievements of the European strategic framework at EU level concerning the objectives that were put forward by the strategic framework by examining EU actions by, e.g. the European social partners during the period 2014-2020. Among others, the exercise foresees a public consultation.

EU-OSHA Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: facts and figures-synthesis report of 10 EU Member states

The report provides the prevalence and costs of MSDs across Europe by compiling data from several relevant and reliable official statistical sources.

EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load — MSD pre-campaign website now online

The new website of the upcoming EU-OSHA campaign is packed with information and helpful resources on work-related musculoskeletal disorders. More tools and resources will be added to the website, in several languages. The campaign launch will take place during European Week for Safety and Health at Work in October 2020.

WHO World Health Worker Week - April 5-11, 2020

The Eighth Annual World Health Worker Week is yet another opportunity to mobilize communities, partners, and policymakers to increase support of health workers worldwide.

eUlift: an App providing patient handling techniques for healthcare workers

The app consists of a free e-book with a theoretical reference work on the basic principles of back-friendly handling and ergonomics, specific postures and lifting handling techniques as well as 3D-videos animations and e-learning materials in four languages (EN, HU, NL, ES).

HOSPEEM-EPSU Work Programme 2020-2022

The HOSPEEM-EPSU Work Programme 2020-2022 provides an overview of the themes, sub-themes, objectives and deliverables/activities of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector.
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