HOSPEEM visited its Lithuanian member organisation Lithuanian National Association of Healthcare Organizations (NAHCO) on 25 May 2018 in Vilnius. HOSPEEM had the opportunity to visit the Lithuanian Parliament and one hospital, a member of NAHCO, the Republican Vilnius University Hospital in Vilnius. The non-profit hospital is the biggest emergency health care hospital in Lithuania and the second largest hospital in capital Vilnius. At the Parliament, a meeting was arranged with Ms Irena Šiaulienė, Deputy Speaker of the Board of the Seimas [the Lithuanian Parliament] and Member of the Lithuanian Parliament. The meeting was also attended by Antanas Vinkus, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament, former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania and former Ambassador of Lithuania to Russia, Estonia and Latvia as well as Prof. Dr. Vinsas Janušonis, President of Lithuanian National Association of Healthcare Organizations and Dr. Vidmantas Žegunis. The visit at the Parliament provided the opportunity to discuss among others the migration and fair recruitment of health professionals and the 100-year anniversary of Lithuania.
At the hospital, the HOSPEEM Secretariat met among others Dr. Algimantas Pamerneckas, Director General, his advisor Rimvydas Toločka, Head of Emergency Medicine Department, Asta Jonaitienė and Dr. Vidmantas Žegunis. While visiting the hospital’s emergency and triage unit, the hospitals’ management and human resources, their functioning and activities were discussed. The meeting also provided the opportunity to exchange good practices from Lithuania and other HOSPEEM members. HOSPEEM would like to express its sincere thanks to Sigitas Griskonis, Lithuanian National Association of Healthcare Organizations, the representatives of the Lithuanian Parliament and the staff of the hospitals for the warm welcome and the enriching and fruitful exchange.
A joint conference organised by EPSU and HOSPEEM took place in Vilnius on the 23rd and 24th of May with the support of the Lithuanian EPSU affiliate Lietuvos sveikatos apsaugos darbuotojų profesinė sąjunga (LSADPS).
The aim of the conference was to pursue and expand the social partners’ thematic focus on the prevention and reduction of the two occupational health and safety hazards most widespread in the hospital/healthcare sector: musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and psychosocial risks and stress at work (PSRS@W).
It brought together more than 100 participants from 17 EU Member States and from 2 non-EU countries, including 30 participants from Lithuania.
The conference was held in the framework of the joint project (2017-2018) which aims at first supporting the sectoral social partners in the hospital/healthcare sector and their national member organisations to achieve improved and attractive recruitment and effective retention conditions and second at facilitating the identification of good practice examples, the exchange of knowledge and mutual learning processes.
HOSPEEM and EPSU were honoured by the presence of Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, DG SANTE who referred to their relevant initiatives on patient safety and the health workforce, calling for a continued cooperation and exchange with EPSU and HOSPEEM.
EPSU and HOSPEEM have expressed their intention to pursue the thematic work on the two conference topics in the coming years. The information collected, the project results and good practice will disseminated.
Vilnius, Lithuania – 24th May 2018
This project is supported with funds from the European Commission
In this edition of the newsletter, you will find information about the recent HOSPEEM General Assembly and Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting, the 10th anniversary of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Code of Conduct signature, as well as news from HOSPEEM members and relevant EU News, events and publications for hospital employers.
10-year anniversary of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention
In their first Working Group meeting of the European Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector, on 04 April 2018 HOSPEEM and EPSU looked back to the signing of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention on 8 April 2008 and renewed their commitment to promote, guarantee and defend decent recruitment and working conditions for migrant workers, from the EU and from outside the EU, in hospitals and healthcare facilities across Europe.
HOSPEEM and EPSU issued a Joint Media Release on the 10 years anniversary of the Code of Conduct. It represents an important instrument to support the free movement of workers across the European Union while preventing unethical competition between the Member States and employers in terms of cross-country recruitment process, fair and transparent contracting and the induction of migrant workers at the new workplace. This also holds for their equal and non-discriminatory treatment regarding labour law, social protection provisions and the access to training and career progression and the freedom of association.
The EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention was inspired by social partner-based or/and public policy tools already in use in different European Union Member States. At international level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 21 May 2010 adopted and set into practice the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. The Global Code, non-binding in nature, addresses a number of similar issues already covered with in the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct.
In the meeting on 4 April 2018, HOSPEEM and EPSU members reiterated their commitment to the 12 key principles of their 2008 Code of Conduct and to the promotion of ethical recruitment and retention practices at European, national, regional and local level in the upcoming years, both in their own work and in the broader context of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM reflected on the impact of the Code of Conduct: “10 years ago, our Code of Conduct was an inspiration for the work of the World Health Organisation. Nowadays, given the migration flows to and within the European Member States, it is still very relevant.”
EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan welcomed the constructive dialogue there has been with the European employers since the Code of Conduct. “We sought to ensure decent working conditions for all, to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers and to make sure public health systems are not undermined by unfair recruitment practices. Our Code was and is a significant contribution to achieve sustainable quality care for all.”
At the meeting on 4 April 2018, several HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates commented on the use and positive effects of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention. They also referred to different models of how the 12 principles of the Code of Conduct have been incorporated in their national contexts, either into legislation, by means of collective agreements and/or by using enterprise-based agreements.
Kate Ling, NHS Confederation, United Kingdom, gave an overview on the use by the employers in the NHS and about the effects of the Code of Conduct in the United Kingdom, showcasing some good practice examples: “NHS organisations should only use recruitment agencies that comply with the Code, which includes guarantees to give overseas recruits good induction, training and employment protection. A key tenet of the UK Code is that recruitment of staff from abroad should not damage healthcare systems in developing countries. Active recruitment from developing countries shouldn’t take place unless there is a government-to-government agreement. For example, the UK and India have a scheme called Earn Learn and Return where staff from India can come to the UK to fill shortages in specialist areas, and in return they get the opportunity to gain specialist expertise and develop skills that they can then take back with them after they leave the UK to improve healthcare in India. So, both countries benefit.”
Tjitte Alkema wrapped up the Working Group meeting, reflecting on the freedom of movement of persons in the European Union and the respective aim of the Code of Conduct: “We are in the European Union: one of the fundamental rights is the freedom of movement of people within the European Union. Our Code of Conduct is trying to establish a fair system of mobility in which people are not exploited and countries are not suffering from the mobility of workers. The Code of Conduct is however only as strong as the partners that support it. It only works if we also identify incorrect application, put them on the table and make them transparent. The WHO Code and the Code of Conduct of the Social Partners are complementary in the European setting.”
HOSPEEM has also published an article on the event and the 10-year anniversary celebration.
Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2017
In this document you can find the highlights of the work of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector. In 2017 the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector dealt with a wide range of topics in the framework of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Joint Work Programme and carried out project-related activities.
The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2017 is published. This activity report presents basic information on the history of HOSPEEM, on the membership structure as well as on the main activities carried out during the year.
2017 has been a productive year with a number of achievements: the start of the new joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project on effective recruitment and retention policies including the June conference “Working together, learning together – Switching to the learning mode”, the start of the HOSPEEM-EPSU new work programme 2017-2019 for the European social dialogue, the high-level metings with European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Bulgarian Minister of Health Prof. Nikolai Petrov, the joint HOSPEEM-HOPE workshop “AMR and workplace learning – The case for a multi-professional approach in hospitals” at the European Parliament.
“AMR and workplace learning, The case for a multi-professional approach in hospitals”
On 22 November 2017, the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) organised a workshop “AMR and workplace learning-The case for a multi-professional approach in hospitals” hosted by MEP Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (Spain, S&D) at the European Parliament in Brussels. This HOSPEEM-HOPE Joint Workshop was connected to the 2017 European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and the launch of the new EAAD Toolkit for Hospital Staff.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D, Spain) opened the workshop by reminding some alarming figures published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): the cost of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the EU represents 25 000 deaths and 1,5 Billion Euro annually. She expressed the need for a comprehensive approach involving the different sectors, such as healthcare, biosafety, environment etc. She also stressed out that the European Action Plan should focus on research (new antibiotics, health devices) but also on monitoring the prescription and use of antibiotics, thanks to a large data base. National Action Plans, coordinated and financially supported by the EU should allow to identify the best practices and the best performing countries.
Pascal Garel, HOPE Chief Executive, emphasized the importance of inter-professional cooperation in combatting AMR “the issue of AMR is complex and multifaceted with differences between countries and even differences between regions of the same country (…) today we are looking at the topic from the angle of Continuing Professional Development and the role of health professionals”. Workshop moderator Jesper Rijpma, Senior advisor public affairs at Dutch Hospital Association (NVZ), defined the AMR phenomenon as a threat for society in the form of a “tsunami in slow motion”.
The Head of the Disease Programmes on AMR and Health-Associated Infections (HAI) at ECDC, Dominique Monnet, focused on the importance of raising awareness about the prevention and control of AMR in healthcare. Firstly, he listed the three-existing surveillance network at EU-level (EARS-Net, ESAC-Net, HAI-Net) and the guidelines exchange platform EPIS. In some countries like Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece or Belgium, AMR is decreasing due to national actions such as the introduction of new antimicrobial agents in the healthcare sector, the prudent use of antimicrobial agents as well as the prevention and control of infections in hospital and healthcare facilities. He also brought the attention of the audience to the new EAAD Toolkit for Hospital Staff recently published.
The Member of the AMR Task Force of the European Commission, Angela Bolufer de Gea, presented the European One Health Action Plan on AMR 2011-2016, reminding that “Progress on AMR is possible but slow’’. She emphasized making the EU a best practice region on AMR requires persistence, innovation and stronger partnerships. To further develop the existing initiatives such as the Guidelines for the prudent use of antimicrobials in human health or the European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the EC supports research and development of new business models in antibiotic research (DRIVE-AB) and jointly funded research with the pharmaceutical industry (IMI).
The CEO of the Platform for Continuous Improvement of Quality of Care and Patient Safety (PAQS) in Belgium, Denis Herbaux, presented a specific example of collaboration on the prevention of Health-associated Infections (HAI) carried out by twenty hospitals working together in Belgium. This collaborative project aims at preventing adverse events such as the outbreak of AMR for example. The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) methodology consists of regular meetings of a multidisciplinary team which will work out solutions together and bring it back to its own hospital. According to Denis Herbaux, the collaborative step-by-step approach allows the effective implementation of best practices at the system level.
The Senior Advisor on National Safety and Security from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment Centre for Safety and Security in the Netherlands, Marcel Mennen, presented the Dutch One Health strategy to restrain the threat of AMR. This strategy consists of a thorough assessment and monitoring of national risk as well as concrete actions such as a multi-professional model for prevention and outbreak control of AMR (A-Team). In the Netherlands, the “A-Teams” advise colleagues on infection prevention and proper use of antibiotics, including infectious disease professionals, epidemiologists, hospital pharmacists and physicians.
After the presentations, the participants could discuss several issues with the panellists, such as the need of awareness programs for medical students in the medical profession, the research and production of new antibiotics or the challenge of merging and connecting hospital data to inform AMR experts. Participants and speakers debated the need for new business models to create new antibiotics and the need for exploration of cost-effectiveness in this field. They also discussed the ways on how to enhance the level of awareness, where both macro level (national action plans) and micro level (multidisciplinary approaches such as the A-teams in the Dutch hospitals or collaborative improvement initiatives in Belgian hospitals) have shown to be effective.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Karin Kadenbach (S&D, Austria) pointed out that expertise and knowledge about AMR is not always shared, especially monitored data on vaccination across the EU or HAI. Stricter rules should be defined regarding the access to antibiotics without prescription and more money should be invested in research and quality monitoring to ensure reliable and up-to-date data. As an incentive, the cost of non-action (compared to concrete action) should be presented to the different stakeholders at national level.
Secretary General of the European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM), Tjitte Alkema, closed this workshop addressing the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) for the correct understanding and use of antibiotics by hospital staff and patients and the prevention of infections. He reminded that “there are no simple solutions to complex problems and that (…) learning is a process, not an event (…) Some of the challenges ahead of us that have been underlined today are the issue of professional silos, underreporting, lack of surveillance and staffing challenges (…)” and regarding the issues raised during the workshop, “Prevention and CPD are potential solutions because they allow the involvement of hospital management grass-root staff and they foster new insights and creative solutions through a multi-disciplinary approach”. He called for an overarching PPP-approach. PPP in this case would stand for Public Practice Partnership involving competent authorities, professional organisations, and hospital management.
HOSPEEM-HOPE joint Workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance and Continuing Professional Development: “AMR and workplace learning-The case for a multi-professional approach in hospitals"
European Parliament, November 22nd, 2017
Agenda and Media release:
“Prevention and control of AMR in healthcare: raising awareness about best practices” - Dominique Monnet, ECDC, Head of the Disease Programmes on AMR and HAI
“A European One Health action plan on AMR” - Angela Bolufer, European Commission, Member of the AMR Task force
“Collaborating to increase Patient Safety” - Denis Herbaux, CEO, Platform for Continuous Improvement of Quality of Care and Patient Safety (PAQS), Belgium
“The need for cooperation from a One Health perspective against AMR” - Marcel Mennen, Project Manager AMR, National Institute for Public Health and Environment, the Netherlands
This Workshop addressed the importance of continuing professional development for the correct understanding and use of antibiotics by hospital staff and patients and the prevention of infections. Good practice examples to train staff in combatting Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the hospital sector were presented to foster the discussion.
The event also provided the opportunity to emphasize the importance of inter-professional cooperation in combatting AMR. The date chosen for the Workshop allowed to connect the event to the activities planned for the 2017 European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and the launch of the new EAAD Toolkit for Hospital Staff.
The workshop was hosted by MEP Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (Spain, S&D) and took place at the European Parliament, from 15.00 to 17.00 in Room P1C047.
Photo credits: Mattia Braida, 2017
On 17 November 2017 the members of the Public Services Employers’ Forum (PSEF) released a Joint statement PSEF-Social Summit – FINAL at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth. The statement has been signed by HOSPEEM, CEEP, CEMR, CER, EFEE and EBU.