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Issue 1 - January 2021


Dear reader,
Let me take the opportunity of this newsletter to wish you a happy and healthy new year 2021. I am grateful for the support expressed by members throughout 2020, and I look forward to representing members' interests in the coming year. This year will significantly focus on occupational safety and health and active ageing, starting with a webinar on musculoskeletal disorders in the health sector on 25 February.

2020 has been an eventful year, ensuring that hospital and healthcare employers' views are being heard. In December, HOSPEEM published a collection of challenges and lessons learnt in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing a first insight into hospital and healthcare employers' experiences. HOSPEEM would like to thank all the members for their contributions.

Last November, the Eurofound representativeness study for the Hospital Sector was published confirming that HOSPEEM remains the most representative hospital employer association on the EU level. HOSPEEM calls for political support from European institutions to strengthen capacity building of sectoral social partners to be represented in the European sectoral social dialogue.

This winter brought some changes at HOSPEEM. We are pleased to welcome Elisa Dechorgnat as the representative of FEHAP to HOSPEEM from October 2020. HOSPEEM would like to express its gratitude for the work of Laetitia Tibourtine over the past five years. In this edition, you will find HOSPEEM news including updates from our recent statutory meetings and EU News, events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

This newsletter has been conceived as interactive tools to facilitate the flow of communication, therefore you are invited to send us your contributions for future issues.

Enjoy your reading!

Marta Branca
Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM


2021-02-25 MSD Webinar Draft Banner

Save the date - HOSPEEM-EPSU Webinar on MSD in the health sector, 25 February 2021

The webinar, jointly organised by HOSPEEM and EPSU, aims to exchange practices and discuss ideas with national sectoral social partners from the health sector across Europe to prevent MSD at the workplace. It will also look into the future, by enabling participants to provide input to the EU level social partners on the envisioned update on the Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention. Registration opens on 26 January 2021.

HOSPEEM publishes COVID-19 collection of lessons learnt and practices

The document provides a first insight into challenges and lessons learnt by hospital and healthcare employers, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. First commonalities between HOSPEEM Members are presented, followed by detailed information on the respective countries. The information collected ranged from May 2020 – 16 December 2020.

HOSPEEM submits input to the European Pillar of Social Rights

While welcoming the elaboration of an Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights, HOSPEEM and its members call upon the European Commission, in collaboration with the EU Member States and consultation with European social partners to develop coherent structures and implement robust mechanisms. Additionally, initiatives should encourage 1.) the formation of employer organisations on a national level; and 2.) already established employer organisations to become actively involved in European sectoral social dialogue structures while respecting national specificities and autonomy. HOSPEEM reiterated their request at a webinar with European Commission Special Advisor on Social Dialogue, Andrea Nahles in November.

HOSPEEM spoke at the high-level conference on the European Health Union, organised by S&D

Marta Branca, Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM, participated at the high-level conference on the European Health Union, representing hospital and healthcare employers' interest in the European stakeholder panel next to patient trade union, doctors, and European Commission representatives. She noted that to fully profit from the European Health Union and take care of those who take care of us, dialogue between all levels of stakeholders needs to be generated.
2020-12-01 Quote Marta 1

HOSPEEM Steering Committee and General Assembly in October and December 2020

HOSPEEM held its Steering Committee and General Assembly on 8 October and 15 December. The HOSPEEM members discussed updates from the HOSPEEM expert groups, the ongoing European Pillar of Social Rights consultation and the multi-sectoral project proposal on third party violence.
Kate Ling, NHS, United Kingdom, was appointed as Steering Committee member. Elisa Dechorgnat, FEHAP, France was appointed to the Financial Advisory Committee.

HOSPEEM signs the WHO Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety

Following a WHO presentation on the Charter at the HOSPEEM Expert Group on Occupational Safety and Health, HOSPEEM signed the  World Health Organizations' Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.
HOSPEEM agrees that the health, safety, and well-being of health workers is a prerequisite for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 has been designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW) by the Member States, recognising the dedication of the hospital and healthcare workers at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic.

HOSPEEM-EPSU approve SSDC HS Main activities and outcomes in 2020

At the Plenary Meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Health Sector, the summary document of our main activities and outcomes in 2020 was approved.

HOSPEEM became a member of the European Reference Group Network of the DISH Project

HOSPEEM is now an official Member of the European Reference Group (ERG) Network of the DISH Project (announced in the DISH Project Newsletter). The goal of the network is to reflect, through the lens of DISH, on the challenges resulting from the fast digital transformation of health and social care and the need of healthcare workers’ digital skills to meet the speed of this transformation in a sustainable way

HOSPEEM is an official partner of the EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign

HOSPEEM has become official campaign partner to the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load and expressed its commitment at the launch event in October. HOSPEEM set out to update the existing HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010); Continue the discussion among European social partners to exchange acceptable practices and strategies in the field of MSD; Continue to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level.

HOSPEEM-EPSU joint position on European Commission study on hazardous medicinal products

HOSPEEM and EPSU published a position on the European Commission study supporting assessing different options concerning workers' protection from exposure to hazardous medicinal products (HMP). The paper calls on the European Commission to cover HMPs, including cytotoxic drugs in the fourth revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD4) in Appendix I. HOSPEEM also inquires clarification on the wording "technically possible" handling techniques. The European social partners discussed the position paper at a meeting with the Cabinet of European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and a separate meeting with Swedish MEP Johan Danielsson, CMD4 shadow rapporteur.


RN2Blend: a Dutch research programme on differentiated nursing practice"

RN2Blend is a four-year research programme exploring the changes in nursing practice and professional development for nurses with different levels of training, experience and competencies. Many hospitals in the Netherlands have implemented differentiated and function-oriented nursing practice. Long-term scientific research is needed in order to gain a clear picture of these changes. The programme also aims to show the effects differentiation has on, for instance, job satisfaction, the quality of nursing care and costs-effectiveness. RN2Blend is conducted by a consortium of the Dutch Hospital Association (NVZ) and the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), and several universities in the Netherlands.

NHS on the EU-UK Brexit agreement – impact on the UK and EU27

With the beginning of 2021, the United Kingdom has officially left the European Union. The HOSPEEM UK Member, NHS, summarises the impact for the EU-27 and the UK. While the UK's departure from the EU will undoubtedly bring challenges, HOSPEEM is looking forward to further strengthening its relationship with the UK.
From the EU 27 countries' point of view, there will not be many changes, except that people without higher qualifications who wish to work in the UK may not be able to, as they will not meet the new immigration visa requirements. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals, however, will meet these requirements. The UK will continue to recognise professional qualifications awarded in the EU, but the EU Member States have not agreed to reciprocate. Students from the EU studying for a medical degree in the UK may find that their qualification obtained in the UK will not be automatically recognised and allowed to practise in their country of origin unless the domestic law is changed to enable this.
The NHS Confederation provides a first review on the Brexit deal that will impact health and care in the UK and flag changes, both due to the deal and regardless of the deal.


Public consultation open to the EU Strategic Framework for OSH (2021 – 2027)

The European Commission opened its public consultation to the new EU OSH Framework. This initiative builds on the previous EU Strategic Framework 2014-2020. It aims to maintain and improve the high health and safety standards for EU workers in light of new circumstances and help prepare for new crises and threats. The consultation is open until 01 March 2021. The European Commission is currently exploring the possibility for a dedicated social partners hearing.

European Commission proposes European Health Union

The European Commission proposes establishing a European Health Union by, among others, a more robust EU health security framework in the form of a new Regulation on serious cross-border health threats. To strengthen its preparedness, the European Commission foresees the development of an EU health crisis and pandemic preparedness plan and recommendations for adopting plans at national levels, coupled with comprehensive and transparent frameworks for reporting and auditing. The plans would be audited and stress-tested by the Commission and EU agencies.

Portugal's priorities for the European Council Presidency

Next to implementing the Action Plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Social Summit in May 2021, the Portuguese Presidency will focus on safety and health at work and support creating a European Health Union. In terms of the digital transformation, the Presidency will pay attention to the universal development of digital skills, the promotion of health and disease prevention, and distance learning in education and lifelong learning.

European Commission launches Pact for Skills

The pact will support a fair and resilient recovery and deliver on the ambitions of the green and digital transitions and of the EU Industrial and SME Strategies. The Commission invites public and private organisations, including social partners to join forces and take concrete action to upskill and reskill people in Europe.

CEEP becomes SGI Europe and elects new President

In December, following Pascal Bolo's election as the new President, CEEP hosted a renaming ceremony, becoming SGIEurope. With the rebranding, SGIEurope aims to represent employers and enterprises providing modern public services, which serve the fundamental goals of the EU, supporting business, social and territorial cohesion, economic and social solidarity and a better quality of life for all.

Thematic Network (TN) Final Joint Statement on Profiling and training the health care workers of the future, open for endorsement

Since early 2020, HOSPEEM was active in the TN activities, invited as commentator and providing high-level speakers in the series of Webinars organised by the TN. The Joint Statement includes the NVZ/NFU case study on training programme CZO Flexlevel and the NHS case study on digital readiness.


12/01/2020: The EU facing the pandemic: from crisis to collective action, organised by ETUI and OSE

25/11/2020: Webinar on 'Providing Services of General Interest in times of Covid-19', jointly organised by SGI Europe and Eurocities. Tjitte Alkema, Vice-Secretary General, spoke at the event calling for a "golden rule of investment" for Services of General Interest. Additionally, employers have to be aware of the danger of renewed austerity policy after the crisis, having a significant impact on the public sector, especially in the health services provision, which could end the current momentum of SGIs.

17/11/2020: The health workforce and COVID-19: Protecting health workers while maintaining surge capacity, organised by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

03/11/2020: Hospital care and COVID-19: Balancing surge capacity and regular services, organised by European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

20/10/2020: Hearing of the expert panel on effective ways of investing in health: A framework for the resilient organisation of health and social care following COVID-19, organised by the European Commission


HOSPEEM events
- 04/03/2021: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly
- 01/06/2021: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly
- 29/11/2021: HOSPEEM General Assembly/ Steering Committee

- 25/02/2021: MSD Webinar
- 05/03/2021: SSDC-HS Working Group 1 2021
- 02/06/2021: SSDC HS Working Group 2 2021
- 30/11/2021 SSDC HS Plenary 2021
- Spring/Summer 2021 Strengthening Social Dialogue Project workshops

Other events
- 12/01/2020: The EU facing the pandemic: from crisis to collective action, organised by ETUI and OSE
- 25/01/2020: HOSPEEM presenting the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work at the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Telecommunications


NHS on the COVID-19 and the health and care workforce "supporting our greatest asset."

In this new report, part of the NHS Reset campaign sets out what employers in health and care need from different system levels to enable them to work with local partners to attract, recruit, train, develop, deploy, and support their workforce. The report highlights how the pandemic has brought about a renewed focus on its people, creating a great deal of positive action across the sector to support staff. The COVID-19 pandemic has been without precedent in its demands on health care staff across all settings and disciplines. It has also magnified longstanding problems, the response to which has become more critical.

Eurofound representativeness study for the health sector

This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the human health sector.

European Commission analysis of Shortage and Surplus Occupations 2020

The analysis identifies among other nursing professionals, healthcare assistants and nursing associate professionals as occupations with the highest health sector shortages in 2020.

European Observatory issue on COVID-19

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies published an issue of its journal drawing on data from the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor to examine health system responses to COVID-19. Among others, this Eurohealth issue is highlighting how various countries are ensuring sufficient workforce capacity.

European Commission Expert Group report on methods to assess health systems resilience

The report aims to support ongoing efforts aimed at defining more advanced methods to assess the resilience capacity of health systems and includes a theoretical overview of the concept of resilience applied to health systems; a synthesis of European countries' experiences with assessing health system resilience; and an analysis of resilience-enhancing strategies and related dimensions for assessment.

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health research on working hours, health, well-being and participation in working life: current knowledge and recommendations for health and safety

Published by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the objective of the 'Working hours, Health, Well-being and Participation in Working life' project (WOW, 2015–2021) was to develop evidence-based models and solutions related to working hours to support health and work participation. The WOW project has produced and updated cross-national working time recommendations in the Nordic countries, including the hospital sector.

OECD and European Commission publish Health at a Glance: Europe 2020

The report provides an outlook at comparative data on how European countries have experienced and responded to the pandemic regarding health outcome and policies in place. The report highlights countries' policies to boost the supply of the health workforce in response to COVID-19.

OECD Report on Digital transformation Strategies to make the most out of the digital transformation – Empowering the Health Workforce

The report discusses how to engage and empower the health workforce to make the most of the digital revolution by building trust in the benefits of digital health technologies among health workers and patients:
  • ensuring that digital technologies meet the needs of the health workers and their patients
  • advancing expertise and skills needed within the health sector for effective co-design, deployment, and use of digital health technologies
  • adapting payment systems and the organisation of work such that the health workers can timely and effectively start using digital solutions and tools
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