European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

Healthcare employers & employees share their experience on implementation of the Sharps directive

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organised the first regional seminar to promote and support the implementation of Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention of sharps injuries in the hospital and health care sector. This project is funded by the European Commission.

The seminar took place on 31 January in Dublin and was hosted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) representing the Irish health employers and IMPACT, the Irish Trade Union. The seminar was attended by 90 representatives of employers, employees, national authorities and other stakeholders from 10 countries.

During the seminar a presentation by ICF GHK was made to outline the first result of the survey on the progress so far in the implementation of the directive.

There were also presentations about the transposition of the directive in Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom from practitioners and academia representatives. The speakers underlined the importance of continued work on the issue, investment in protective safety equipment, better training and reporting, and the role social partners should play at local, national and European level to prevent sharps injuries.

The presentations were followed by working groups who discussed how best to implement the directive. The groups comprised of employers and employees’ representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The findings gathered at the seminar will be published in the event report in mid-February on the webpage devoted to the project.

Further seminars in the framework of the project will take place on 7 March in Rome and on 16 April in Vienna. The final conference will be held on 20 June in Barcelona.
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For further information, please contact:

HOSPEEM:
Elisa Benedetti +32 2 229 21 58
Ewelina Pysklo +32 2 229 21 57
E-mail: hospeem@hospeem.eu

EPSU:
Mathias Maucher +32 2 250 10 93
E-mail: mmaucher@epsu.org

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions and the second largest federation of the ETUC, with 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions in 45 countries. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration. In health and social services EPSU members affiliate about 3.5 million workers.

This project is supported with funds from the European Commission

Tjitte Alkema elected Secretary General of HOSPEEM

Tjitte Alkema was elected Secretary General of HOSPEEM for a three-year mandate period, starting as of 1 January 2013.

Mr Alkema has been involved in HOSPEEM’s activities since 2008 as a member of General Assembly on behalf of NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals. In 2010 he was elected for the Vice Secretary General position at HOSPEEM which he fulfilled until the end of 2012.

At national level Mr Alkema works as the Manager of Industrial Relations & Education at NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals, Chairman of the Foundation of Hospital labour market activities (StAZ), and Chairman of the consultative body on collective bargaining in the Dutch Hospital sector on behalf of NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals (ROZ). Before that he worked at several managerial positions in a Dutch trade union association.

Ulrike Neuhauser (Austrian Hospital and Health Services Platform) and Elvira Gentile (ARAN, Agenzia per la Rappresentanza Negoziale delle Pubbliche Amministrazioni) were appointed Vice Secretaries General of HOSPEEM.

Social Partners signed a Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention on 17 December 2010

Press Communication

This framework constitutes an important basis for social partners at European and national levels to develop concrete action to tackle staff shortages and qualification needs now and in the future.

Our framework shows that social partners can produce practical results that will improve health care delivery in the interest of patients, health care providers and workers. To have the right workforce planning mechanisms in place is key from an employers’ perspective in the health and hospital sector. Innovative workplace designs can be supported by ICT-instruments, actively involving the healthcare workforce and their representatives.” says Godfrey Perera, HOSPEEM Secretary General.

The chief executive of HOSPEEM also warned against short-sighted cuts in health expenditure in the context of the current crisis. “It not only takes a long time to train qualified staff, but also requires the necessary resources. We therefore should deal carefully with these resources.”

Our healthcare systems cannot function properly without a well-trained and motivated workforce. Their contribution must be recognised also in their terms and conditions of work,” stresses Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary. She underlines the added value of facilitating full-time work and integrating fix-term and agency workers into the regular workforce. “This objective we need to pursue over time through concrete steps. We see it as our task to make the healthcare and hospital sector an attractive workplace for women and men. We therefore need measures for improved work-life balance in the sector.”

The social partners have agreed to develop joint model initiatives, supported also by the collection of case studies and good practice.

They also committed themselves to jointly monitor relevant European legislation and policies and to embark on follow-up action on the implementation of the Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector.

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Meeting with Minister for Health Didzis Gavars

Press Release

Meeting of the Minister for Health Didzis Gavars with Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of European hospital and healthcare employers’ association

(Riga) – “The involvement of health care sector NGO’s in the decision making of high importance issues gives an opportunity for eventually best problem solutions. Therefore the proposals and warnings from professionals should be taken into account in the development process of next year’s budget. In my opinion, the health care budget should not be subject for further decrease and taking into account all the financial possibilities in future the health care budget should make 4% of the GDP in order to stabilize the health care sector”, said the Minister for Health of the Republic of Latvia Didzis Gavars in the meeting with Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of the European hospital and healthcare employers’ association and Jevgenijs Kalejs, the Chair of Latvian Hospital Association.

During the meeting there were discussions on the situation in the field of health care in Latvia and as well as in the European Union. The Minister for Health of the Republic of Latvia emphasized that there should be further actions taken in order to increase the efficiency of the health care sector by developing out-patient care. As well as during the meeting there was stressed the need for continuing the work together with social partners on the development of National Human resources program, that would in a long term grant access to health care services from highly qualified health care professionals.

During the meeting the implementation of the not yet adopted proposal for a Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare was pointed out as one of the main challenges on the European Union level.

European organisations agree on measures to counter workplace violence

Press release

Eight European organisations of social partners have today adopted joint Guidelines setting out the practical steps that can be taken by employers, workers and trade unions to tackle problems of thirdparty violence in a range of different service sectors. The guidelines have been agreed by CEMR, CoESS, EFEE, EPSU, ETUCE, EuroCommerce, HOSPEEM and UNI Europa, all sectors which face the challenge of violence originating from members of the public.

The European Working Conditions Survey shows that almost one in ten workers in the EU report having suffered violence, bullying or harassment at work in the previous year (results 2005 survey).
According to the survey, carried out by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, third party violence at the hands of clients, customers or patients is more common than violence from work colleagues. Threats of violence and actual violence from third parties are most common in a variety of sectors.

The eight sectors are increasingly concerned about the impact of such violence since it not only undermines the health and dignity of individual workers, but also has a very real economic impact in terms of absences from the workplace, morale and staff turnover.

The Guidelines are the outcome of a two-year process supported by the European Commission to assess the issues through research, workshops and the exchange of best practices.The Guidelines aim to:

– Increase awareness and understanding of employers, workers, their representatives and other public authorities (e.g. health and safety agencies, police, etc) of the issue of third party violence
– Demonstrate the commitment of social partners to working together and sharing experiences and good practice to help prevent and manage problems of harassment and/or violence instigated by third parties and reduce the impact on employees’ health and well-being, sickness absence and productivity.
– Provide employers, workers and their representatives at all levels with Guidelines to identify, prevent manage and tackle problems of work related harassment and violence instigated by third parties.

The Guidelines complement the cross-sectoral agreement on violence and harassment at work, adopted in 20074.

CEMR, CoESS, EFEE, EPSU, ETUCE, EuroCommerce, HOSPEEM and UNI Europa will work together to implement the Guidelines in all member states.

FULL TEXT: Multisectoral Guidelines Signed

(FULL TEXT also available in FR/DE/BG/CZ/DK/EE/EL/ES/FI/HU/IT/LT/NL/PL/PT/RO/RU/SK/SL)

Press release: Press Release Signature guidelines 30 Sept 2010

Agreement on the directive on prevention from sharp injuries

Joint press release

HOSPEEM – EPSU on the agreement on the directive on prevention from sharp injuries

The European Hospital and Healthcare Sector Social Partners – The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) welcomed the decision of the Council which adopted the directive on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector today. The agreement between the European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector signed on 17 July 2009 has become law. Now the European Member States have three years to implement the requirements set out by the directive.

Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of HOSPEEM said that, “the Directive is a fundamental step toward the improvement of health and safety of patients, workers and employers in the hospital and healthcare sector. Indeed, when implemented it will diminish the occurrence of accidents and infections. We are conscious that this problem cannot be eliminated completely, but we are keen to make sure there are appropriate procedures in place to try to reduce the number of injuries by as much as possible. The use of risk assessment, prevention, protection and training procedures will help to achieve this result.”

“This is a major break-through,” Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of EPSU said, “With this directive EPSU and HOSPEEM have laid an important basis to create the safest possible working environment to prevent workers’ injuries caused by all medical sharps. We stress that a well trained, adequately resourced and secure health service workforce is essential to underpin that objective.”

For further information, please contact:

HOSPEEM: Federica BENASSI +32 2 229 21 57 | E-mail: hospeem@hospeem.eu

EPSU: Carola Fischbach-Pyttel +32 2 250 10 91 | E-mail: cfischbach@epsu.org

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions are members. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration.

Joint Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries

The Joint Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Public Services Union (EPSU) today signed an EU-wide agreement to prevent injuries from needlesticks and other sharp objects.

The Joint Framework Agreement was concluded after five months of negotiations by the European social partner organisations in the sector, which employs around 3.5 million people.

Background
In 2006, the European Parliament adopted a resolution requesting the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on protecting healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needle stick injuries.
After the two-stage consultations on this issue, in 2006 and 2007, the EU social partners decided to organise a technical seminar with all stakeholders (nurses, doctors, surgeons and so on), which highlighted the many causes of injuries in hospitals and healthcare services.
In December 2008, they informed the Commission of their intention to negotiate on a wider basis covering all types of sharp injuries (including needle sticks). The negotiations, to which the commission provided technical and logistical support, started in January 2009 and were completed on 2 June 2009.

The agreement aims to:
– achieve the safest possible working environment for employees in the sector and protect workers at risk;
– prevent injuries to workers caused by all types of sharp medical objects (including needle sticks);
– set up an integrated approach to assessing and preventing risks as well as to training and informing workers.

At the request of the European social partners and after having examined their representativeness and the legal conformity of the text, the Commission intends to submit, after the summer, a proposal to the Council for implementation of the agreement by a directive, in accordance with article 139 of the Treaty. The agreement specifically addresses one of the priority objectives of the EU’s current strategy for health and safety at work (2007-2012).

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM-EPSU Sharp injuries signed joint agreement

EU health ministers to let the national experts run their national healthcare systems

Press release

Hospital Social Partners urge EU health ministers to let the national experts run their national healthcare systems

We cannot let market forces run healthcare systems or we will end up with a two-tier system of healthcare delivery” said Godfrey Perera, General Secretary, European Hospital and Healthcare Employers association (HOSPEEM).

The Hospital sector employers and trade unions in Europe today joined forces to send a message to EU Health Ministers. The Social Partners for the sector were speaking on the draft EU directive on cross-border healthcare which is being discussed by EU Health Ministers in Luxembourg today.

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), represented by Karen Jennings (UNISON, UK) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers association (HOSPEEM), represented by Mr. Perera sent the joint message to the EU Health Ministers before 600 public service trade unionists at the EPSU Congress in Brussels.

They urged the EU Ministers to base the directive on a joint legal basis of public health and the internal market. The joint basis would have allowed Member States to ensure that all citizens have equal rights to high quality healthcare based on medical need, and not just the ability to pay their travel, accommodation and other costs.

EPSU Chair of the Healthcare Committee, Karen Jennings:
“The EU Ministers, meeting today, have a chance to put this health debate back on the right track, by recognizing that the universal principles of healthcare solidarity are the starting point and not the internal market”.

Secretary General of HOSPEEM, Godfrey Perera:
“To guard the principle of healthcare systems based on solidiarity, national healthcare systems must have the right to organise those systems – to do this, they need proper prior authorisation abilities”.

The issue of allowing Member State to give prior authorisation to patients, who wish to travel, remains a major issue, as is the need to consider the subject of rare diseases under separate legislations. The EU Health Ministers are expected to conclude discussions tomorrow, 10 June.

For further information, please contact:
EPSU: Brian Synnott +32 474 98 96 75 | E-mail: epsu@epsu.org
HOSPEEM: Valeria Ronzitti / Gin Ngan +32 2 229 21 57 | E-mail: hospeem@hospeem.eu

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions are members. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration.

Green paper on EU health workforce

Green paper on EU health workforce: Commissioner Vassiliou calls for social partners’ contribution

Press Communication

European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM)
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)

On Monday 14 July a joint Hospital Social Partner delegation met Commissioner Vassiliou.

Commissioner Vassiliou explained the rationale for promoting the Cross-border Healthcare Directive. She underlined in particular the need for better collaboration between the Member States as well as the establishment of centres of excellence as one major objective of the directive. Christina Carlsen, while welcoming the intention of bringing legal clarity, expressed HOSPEEM’s concern that the planning capacity at national level might face new challenges. “It will be difficult to foresee what flow of patients we have to expect”, said HOSPEEM Vice Secretary General. According to the Commission services this directive would count for 1 % of the EU population with a perspective to increase to 4 % in the future. The bulk of medical treatment will continue to be delivered at home. Where medical treatment is sought abroad this will be delivered mainly under the provisions of regulation 1408, for example during major sports events. “If this is the case, why not adapt the existing regulations in accordance with EU jurisprudence?” asked Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU.General Secretary. “We therefore wonder what exactly the added value of the proposed directive will be?”

Importantly, Commissioner Vassiliou agreed on the need to develop structured cooperation with the Hospital Social Partners in the future. DG SANCO intends to publish a Green paper on health workforce, in December 2008.

The European-wide lack of qualified health professionals and the migration of health care professionals within and across the European Union borders require a common policy at European level.

Commissioner Vassiliou invited the social partners to address the questions related to health staff shortages in Europe. The role of employers and workers is a key factor when it comes to successfully developing and implementing these policies”

The starting point for an had hoc input of the social partners to the ongoing Commission work will be the Code of Conduct and follow up on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector, signed in April 2007. The text deals with many of the aspects the Commission is intending to tackle, such as strategies to promote ethical cross border recruitment and to prevent acute staff shortages in the so called “donating countries”.

The meeting of the Health Commissioner with the EPSU and HOSPEEM leadership marks a significant step in the relations between the European Commission and European Social Partners in the hospital sector.
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For further information, please contact:

HOSPEEM: Gin Ngan +32 2 229 21 58, hospeem@hospeem.eu
EPSU: Tamara Goosens +32 2 250 10 80, tgoosens@epsu.org

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers and their 213 trade unions are members. They organise workers in health and social services, local and national administration, energy, water, waste.In the health and social services sector EPSU organises 3.5 million members
HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP

First formal meeting of the European Social Partners

Topics for discussion include International recruitment practices and hospital workforce age profile

PR EPSU-HOSPEEM SEPT 2006 | PR EC SEPT 2006EN – Speech – van der PAS | Booklet SD Hospital

  Mr François Ziegler presents the documents for signature to Mr Godfrey Perera, HOSPEEM Secretary General and Ms Karen Jennings (UNISON, UK) EPSU Standing Committee on Health and Social Services President

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) today met jointly in the first formal meeting of a European Sectoral Social Dialogue committee for the hospital sector.

HOSPEEM General Secretary, Godfrey Perera stated that, “To get to this point where representatives of the hospital workforce and management in the European Union can get together to discuss topics is a tremendous achievement. HOSPEEM is fully confident that this collaborative process will make a valuable contribution to the issues facing the hospital sector in the EU.”

EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel added that, “EPSU and HOSPEEM have identified three key areas in the hospital sector where a European approach provides added value; recruitment and retention, the age profile of workers in the sector and the new skill needs required of hospital personnel are all areas that will benefit from being tackled collectively. This process will be a cornerstone in any EU debate on the hospital sector.”

The establishment of the committee represents the first occasion that there will be formal recognition of social partners in the hospital sector at the European level. This is an extremely significant step as it allows the workers and employers to have a direct formal input on EU polices affecting the hospital sector.

Over the last 5 years, as the social partners for the hospital sector at European level, EPSU and HOSPEEM have been working, with European Commission support, to formalise sectoral social dialogue at the European level. The successful agreement to establish a committee marks the end of the ’informal stage’ and the beginning of genuine social partner engagement at the European level for the sector.

The social dialogue process is supported by the Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission. The formal committee will consists of trade union and employer representatives from all over the 25 EU Member States.

The social partners have agreed a work programme for 2006-2007 that will concentrate on:

  • Recruitment and retention of personnel in the hospital sector;
  • The age profile of the hospital workforce;
  • The new skill requirements for the workforce in the sector.

These items will be linked to items, which are high on the political agenda.

If you want to arrange interviews with EPSU or HOSPEEM leadership or with delegations from one of the countries, please call EPSU press officer Brian Synnott,+32 474 98 96 75 or HOSPEEM secretariat, +32-2-2292157.

For information please contact:

EPSU: Tamara Goosens or Brian Synnott, + 32 2 2501080, email: epsu@epsu.org
HOSPEEM: Valeria Ronzitti + 32 2 2292157, email: hospeem@hospeem.eu

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers and their 213 trade unions are members. They organise workers in health and social services, local and national administration, energy, water, waste. In the health and social services sector EPSU organises 3.5 million members

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.