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Issue 4 - December 2019


Dear reader reader,
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.

On 15 November in Rome, HOSPEEM and EPSU members as well as representatives from the hospital and healthcare employers’ organisations and trade unions from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain discussed the capacity building needs of sectoral social partners in the hospital sector in Southern Europe. This second Regional Workshop brought together around 60 participants from 18 EU Member States within the framework of the HOSPEEMEPSU joint project “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector in the East, South and Central Europe”.

The HOSPEEM General Assembly and Steering Committee will take place on 16 December and mark a formal end to the calendar for the year 2019. On the following day, HOSPEEM and EPSU plan to adopt their new joint work programme 2020‐2022 at the Plenary Meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) in Brussels.

This newsletter and the HOSPEEM website have 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


PSEF Joint Statement on the EU priorities 2019-2024

On 16 October 2019, the members of the Public Services Employers’ Forum (PSEF) released the PSEF Joint Statement on the EU priorities 2019-2024. PSEF represents Public Services and Services of General (Economic) Interest (SG(E)I) employers and providers, who are looking forward to the new legislative term. They would like to take this opportunity to introduce their role and priorities with a view to future dialogue with the European Union (EU) decision-makers. The statement has been signed by HOSPEEM, CEEP, CEMR, CER, UITP, EFEE and EBU.

Our visitors in Brussels in November 2019

The HOSPEEM Secretariat had the opportunity to meet a Swedish delegation from its member SALAR in Brussels on 11 November. Read the full article.
The HOSPEEM Secretariat also shared good practices on occupational health in the healthcare sector with a Korean delegation hosted by CEEP in Brussels on 8 November.
Find out more about our latest visitors on our study visits webpage.


The right information at the right time is crucial in healthcare. The Dutch government has also determined that by 1 July 2020 all patients in the Netherlands are entitled to access their medical data digitally. To make this possible, NVZ, the HOSPEEM member in the Netherlands started the VIPP program in 2017. The performance-based financing makes the VIPP program unique. All NVZ members have implemented the same information standards through the VIPP program so that medical information can be digitally exchanged between medical staff and between hospital and patients.

HOSPEEM experts across Europe

HOSPEEM is a source of expertise in healthcare and workforce-related issues in the European arena. In October and November, several HOSPEEM experts shared their good practices and knowledge across Europe.
Kate Ling (UK), the HOSPEEM Co-Lead Expert on Occupational Health and Safety, spoke on the topic of tackling stress in the workplace at an event organised by Eurocadres in Lisbon, in her capacity as the NHS’ representative on CEEP, the pan-European confederation of public sector employers.
John Delamere (IE), the HOSPEEM Lead Expert on Industrial Relations, spoke at a CEPS Conference on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Social Dialogue Articulation in Europe in Lisbon in his capacity as the HSE representative from Ireland.
Alice Casagrande (FR), a HOSPEEM Expert on CPD and LLL, spoke at the European Patients’ Forum Congress in Brussels during the plenary session “Patients as teachers – a deep dive into professional education” as the FEHAP representative.


Council expected to adopt conclusion on EU strategic framework on health and safety at work

On 10 December, the European Council will invite the Commission to present a new strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2021-2027, after which the Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the dossier.

State of Health in the EU, 2019

The European Commission published the 2019 edition of the State of Health in the EU. The initiative aims at making health system information, expertise and best practices easily accessible to policymakers and everyone who helps to shape health policies. The companion report has a dedicated chapter to the health workforce.

Political Guidelines for the next European Commission 2019 – 2024

The political guidelines for the new European Commission are based around six key headings, namely 1.) A European Green Deal; 2.) An economy that works for people; 3.) A Europe fit for the digital age; 4.) Protecting our European way of life; 5.) A stronger Europe in the world; and 6.) A new push for European democracy. Jointly with members of the CEEP Social Affairs Board, HOSPEEM provided a set of questions which are directed towards the candidates' Commissioners on their future topics of reference, to best position the interest of services of general (economic) interest and public service providers, in particular, those of the healthcare sector.

Council Conclusion on Economy of Wellbeing adopted

The conclusions call upon the Commission and member states to systematically take into account the wellbeing perspective when designing policy measures.

European Labour Authority starts its work

In October 2019, the European Labour Authority (ELA) launched in Bratislava with its first management board meeting, where EU level social partners are represented. Among others, the ELA facilitates access for employers and individuals to information on their rights and obligations as well as to relevant services.

WHO Nursing Now Campaign: Nightingale Challenge 2020

Nightingale Challenge 2020 is part of the WHO Nursing Now Campaign (2018-2020) and focuses on developing the next generation of young nurses and midwives as leaders, practitioners and advocates in health. The initiative encourages health employers to sign up selected young nurses and midwives during 2020 for leadership and development training activities, with guidance and support from the Nightingale Challenge Team.


21/11/2019: Social services in EU cross-industry Social dialogue: towards a stronger and deeper involvement - CEEP Project Final Dissemination Conference, Brussels. The conference aimed to disseminate the report produced to assess the degree of involvement of social services structures in the 6 European targeted countries. HOSPEEM participated in the high-level panel discussion on social services and social dialogue.

21/11/2019: CEPS Conference on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Social Dialogue Articulation in Europe, Lisbon. John Delamer, the HOSPEEM Lead Expert on Industrial Relations, spoke during this conference in his capacity as the HSE representative from Ireland.

18/11/2019: European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2019: Launch event, organised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm. HOSPEEM Vice-Secretary General Marta Branca attended this launch event where the current situation regarding antibiotic resistance and the actions taken to address them by all stakeholders was discussed.

12-14/11/2019: European Patient Forum Congress, Brussels. The theme “advancing meaningful patient involvement” brought together patient representatives and patient experts from within and outside the health sector. HOSPEEM expert and FEHAP representative Alice Casagrande spoke during the plenary session.

12/11/2019: Workshop – EU minimum harmonised training for general care nurses – time for an update?, organised by European Commission, Brussels. The event, jointly organised by DG GROW and Spark, was held in the framework of a study: “Mapping and assessment of developments for one of the sectoral professions under Directive 2005/36/EC – nurse responsible for general care”. The main objective of this study is to assist the European Commission in its assessment of the need to update the current minimum knowledge, skills and training subjects harmonised at EU level.

05/11/2019: Digital health workforce, organised by Health First Europe, Brussels. The debate focused on the role of the future workforce in making health care systems more efficient and financially sustainable in delivering care.

29/10/2019: European Biosafety Summit, organised by the European Biosafety Network, Rome. The Summit discussed the exposure of healthcare workers to hazardous drugs with a particular focus on the current situation in Italy and Spain. Speakers included the representatives from the Italian Ministry of Health, as well as former MEP Sion Simon, Zinta Podniece, Deputy Head of Health and Safety Unit, European Commission and Luca Scarpiello, Policy Officer, European Federation of Public Services Unions. HOSPEEM attended the event.

17/10/2019: EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting, organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, Brussels. The meeting started with the 2019 Health Award cities, NGOs and schools seeking to prevent and reduce obesity in children and young people and continued with the presentations of the 2019 and 2020 joint statements. Among others, the proposal for thematic network on health workforce digital skills, where HOSPEEM in an active collaborator was presented.

17-18/10/2019: Time to end stress: Professionals and Managers in the frontline conference, organised by Eurocadres, Lisbon. Kate Ling (UK), the HOSPEEM Co-Lead Expert on Occupational Health and Safety, spoke at the conference.

07/10/2019: Book launch "Everything you always wanted to know about European Union health policies but were afraid to ask", organised by Tomislav Sokol, MEP, in cooperation with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels. The event provided the opportunity to receive the latest available information on EU health policy, including the challenges and opportunities for the new legislative term of the European Parliament.

19/09/2019: SEPEN Webinar
30/09/2019: EU Health Programme High-Level Conference, organised by the EC, Brussels


HOSPEEM events
- 16/12/2019: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels
- 2020 dates are soon available on

- 17/12/2019: SSDC-HS Plenary Meeting 2019
- 15/05/2020: Regional workshop 3 on Strengthening Social Dialogue in Central Europe, Zagreb
- Winter 2020: Dissemination Workshop on Strengthening Social Dialogue, Brussels
- 2020 dates are soon available on

Other events
- 03/12/2019: Innovations in Health and Social Care – Enhancing Health and Wellbeing in Europe, organised by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Brussels
- 04/12/2019: Unlocking the future of healthcare, organised by Politico, Brussels
- 05/12/2019: SEPEN webinar on digital skills of the health workforce, organised by SEPEN
- 13-14/02/2020: SEPEN Workshop on Health workforce planning supporting the quality of care, patient safety and working conditions, organised by SEPEN
- 27-28/04/2020: EU Health Summit, organised by the EU Health Coalition, Brussels.


EC report on the State of Health in the EU, 2019

The European Commission published the 2019 edition of the State of Health in the EU. The initiative aims at making health system information, expertise and best practices easily accessible to policymakers and everyone who helps to shape health policies. The companion report has a dedicated chapter to the health workforce.

Council discussion paper on matching skills and labour market needs - strategic approach on CPD

This discussion paper prepared by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in preparation of the policy debate at the Council (EPSCO) on 24 October 2019 is entitled “Matching skills and labour market needs in the changing world of work - strategic approach on continuous lifelong learning”. In this paper, upskilling and reskilling was presented as a joint responsibility shared by individuals, the public sector and employers. The role of social partners was mentioned in the paper, namely pointing out that lifelong learning policies should respond to learning needs arising from changes in society and the world of work and involve all relevant stakeholders, including the social partners. It was also highlighted that the planning and forecasting of skills are essential and will benefit from appropriate data and analysis. Forecasting plays a key role in matching employers’ needs with people with relevant skills.

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies book on everything you always wanted to know about European Union health policies

Understanding the EU role in health is essential when health systems currently have to deal with multiple challenges. What does the European Union mean for health and health systems? This second edition of the book published by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies makes EU health policy in its entirety accessible to political and technical debate. This book is aimed at policymakers and practitioners of public health and health systems in the EU who want to understand how the EU could add value in their quest improving the performance of health systems.

EUREGHA Healthcare cross-border regions joint statement

This Joint Statement was drafted by Health Across Initiative and EUREGHA (European Regional and Local Health Authorities Network) in partnership with various stakeholders. Although healthcare is a national competence and managed by the Member States, regions and local authorities share responsibilities and competencies in the sector. Therefore, sub-national authorities in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Member States and other relevant health stakeholders could jointly address the challenge of delivering health and care in border areas, thus improving health for all European citizens and ensure health equity.

EU-OSHA on work-related musculoskeletal disorders: report, research and toolkit

In preparation of the 2020-22 campaign on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) have published a report on work-related musculoskeletal disorders focusing on the prevalence, costs and demographics in the EU. An OSHWiki article was also published on the management of back pain and gives a few recommendations on how to prevent it. EU-OSHA also published a toolkit entitled “Understanding Musculoskeletal Disorders" to enable organisations to use Napo films to facilitate the delivery of advice on health and safety topics.

Eurofound policy brief on “how to respond to chronic health problems in the workplace?”

This policy brief published in October 2019 explores the impact of chronic disease on workforce participation. Maintaining labour force participation is a key issue for policymakers as the number of workers living with chronic health conditions is rising in the EU.

Eurofound study on quality of health and care services in the EU

The report examines the use, access to and perceptions of quality in relation to health services (primary care and hospital services), long-term care and childcare across the European Union. The findings are based on data drawn from the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) 2016 carried out in 28 EU Member States. The use of hospital services is given particular attention in this research.

ECDC Survey of healthcare workers’ knowledge of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in the EU/EEA

This report presents the results of a study on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of healthcare workers regarding antibiotics, antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance across 30 European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The survey findings can support communication strategies and policy development.
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