Brussels, 3 May 2017
“Health has social, environmental and behaviour determinants. We need to address public health with ambition: prevent deterioration of health and avoidable deaths, invest in health promotion and prevention. The EU together with Member States could save thousands of lives each year. Social partners can play a central role in this process. Be sure that I am one of you.” said European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. This passionate response came in a meeting with HOSPEEM and EPSU Secretary Generals, Mr. Tjitte Alkema and Mr. Jan Willem Goudriaan.
The representatives of the employers and trade unions met with the Commissioner responsible for health and food safety to discuss their joint work on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that culminated in the signing of the Joint Declaration by HOSPEEM and EPSU in November 2016. EPSU and HOSPEEM informed the Commissioner about their joint upcoming conference on CPD in June 2017 and invited him to their second conference scheduled to take place in April or May 2018 in Vilnius dealing with the two most widespread health and safety hazards in the health care sector, namely musculoskeletal disorders and psycho-social risks and stress at the workplace as well as on patient safety. The Commissioner expressed his support for the Joint Declaration and more generally also for the work of the EU-level sectoral social dialogue partners for the hospital/health care sector that recently adopted their work programme. He added that social partners should keep the Joint Declaration on CPD for All Health Workers in the EU on the agenda of EU Member States and of the Council of the European Union.
Other issues addressed were
- the effectiveness of guidance on cross-border ethical recruitment and retention,
- how best to tackle changing demands for the health workforce and the managers in hospitals linked to the digitalisation of health care and the need for up-to-date digital skills in the health care sector as a key priority of comprehensive vocational education and training policies,
- activities of the hospital employers and hospital associations to reduce risks linked to antimicrobial resistance,
- the challenges of the demographic changes – such as higher incidence of multi-morbidity, chronical diseases and dementia as well as
- the importance of using European Reference Networks in the field of rare diseases as good practice approaches
EPSU and HOSPEEM also exchanged on the possibilities to coordinate or join up forces to follow-up to the recommendations of the Report of the UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth and on the need for more public investment in health care.
The meeting took place on 24 April 2017. The Commissioner was accompanied by Annika Nowak, Member of Cabinet and Concetta Cultrera, DG SANTE.
At the first meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS) in 2017, HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2017-2019. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e. recruitment and retention of health workforce, Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, Occupational Health and Safety and well-being, and Health care policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.
Download the Joint Work Programme – EN
EU-OSHA recently launched a visualisation tool designed to allow easy and quick access to the results of its three-year project “Safer and healthier work at any age”. The European Commission concluded a delegation agreement with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) to carry out a pilot project entitled ‘Safer and healthier work at any age — occupational safety and health (OSH) in the context of an ageing workforce’. This was based on a decision and request of the European Parliament, whose objective was to further investigate possible ways of improving the safety and health of older people at work, as the ageing of the workforce will have a serious financial impact on workers, employers and taxpayers.
Thus, the project aimed to assess the prerequisites for OSH strategies and systems to take account of an ageing workforce and improve risk prevention and health protection for all throughout working life. The key results of the project are presented, including data on demographics, employment, working conditions, and health, as well as examples of OSH policies across Europe addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce. This data visualisation tool presents the key findings of the project and allows users to explore the data in an interactive way by comparing countries and searching for policies, strategies and programmes, among other possibilities.
The issue of the ageing workforce is represented using the ‘Age pyramid’, that is, an interactive graph showing historical data and the projections for the EU, provided by Eurostat. Next to this, some important figures show that this issue is closely related to OSH and working conditions.
The country insights section provides country specific information on initiatives to address the ageing of the workforce, including healthy life years expectancy, population age structure development, employment rate, workplace risk assessments data etc…
See more in the visualisation tool
In 2017-2018 HOSPEEM and EPSU have been provided with financial support from the European Commission for a joint project in the field of recruitment and retention entitled: “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (01.02.2017-01-01-2019).
The project provided an appropriate framework to continue to focus on continuing professional development (CPD) as a first joint policy priority for HOSPEEM and EPSU. The work served to collect, discuss and evaluate social partner-based initiatives and policy measures on a range of aspects linked to the aim of facilitating access to CPD and guaranteeing quality services supportive of patient safety and provided by a workforce fit for practice. It will build on the HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration on Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning for All Health Workers in the EU.
The project was secondly geared towards the follow-up to results and recommendations of the HOSPEEM-EPSU joint project (2014-2016) in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). The prevention, management and reduction of “musculoskeletal disorders” (MSD) and “psychosocial risks and stress at work” (PSRS@W) have been identified by HOSPEEM and EPSU members as two key priorities for their future joint work. In June 2016 they agreed on a “Summary Document” – available in EN, FR, DE, ES, RU and SV, setting out a number of follow-up activities to support policy implementation EPSU and HOSPEEM have agreed to consider in a next step. In May 2019, HOSPEEM and EPSU members agreed on the “summary document” of the project 2017-2019 “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (2017-2019).
Download project detailed description
- 1 & 22 February 2017, Brussels: Meeting of HOSPEEM and EPSU Secretariats
- 28 February 2017, Brussels: Kick-off meeting of the Steering Groups 1(CPD) & 2(OSH)
- 19-20 June 2017, Amsterdam: Social partners’ conference on CPD, Amsterdam
- 10 October 2017, Brussels: Meeting of Steering Group 1 (CPD)
- 11 October 2017, Brussels: Meeting of Steering Group 2 (OSH)
- 23-24 May, Vilnius: Social partners’ conference on OSH, Vilnius
- 5 April 2018, Brussels: Meeting of the Steering Group 2 (OSH)
- 12 November 2018, Brussels: Meeting of the Steering Group 1 (CPD) & 2 (OSH)
- 03 December 2018, Brussels: Social partners’ dissemination workshop on OSH and CPD, European Parliament
The project produced a report from each conference and a brief document summarising the main insight, conclusions and recommendations of the project. The information collected, the project results and recommendations will be fed back into the regular work of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the hospital/health care sector (SSDC HS) to be further discussed and assessed, in particular in view of their use to influence EU-level policy making.
This first conference took place on 19-20 June 2017 in Amsterdam (co-organised by NVZ and Dutch partners, supported by HOSPEEM).
This second conference took place in Vilnius on 23-24 May 2018 (co-organised by LSADPS and supported by EPSU).
This dissemination workshop took place in Brussels on 3 December 2018 (organised by HOSPEEM and EPSU, hosted by MEP Jana Žitňanská, ECR, Slovakia and MEP Brando Benifei, S&D, Italy).
EPSU also has set up a page with the project-related information.
This project has received funding from the European Commission
The EU hospital social partners HOSPEEM and EPSU adopted a HOSPEEM-EPSU joint declaration on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long-Learning (LLL) for all health workers in the EU in November 2016, after several months of work and negotiations.
It is addressed to all workers in the hospital and healthcare sector in an equal manner, irrespective of age, profession and employment contract.
The agreement emphasizes the major role social partners have to play in the field of CPD and LLL, in partnership with competent authorities and other relevant stakeholders, and on the respective responsibilities of employers and workers. In the joint declaration, HOSPEEM and EPSU stress that CPD and LLL initiatives should be considered as a long-term investment in current and future qualifications and competences of the health workforce and not as a cost factor.
The joint declaration aims at providing inspiration, guidance and support to social partners in their actions in the field of CPD and LLL in the different Member States and at encouraging investments in this field. It is structured along a statement of key principles that should guide activities undertaken in the field of CPD and LLL. The principles are general and can be used at all levels by all stakeholders.
The HOSPEEM-EPSU joint declaration will be enriched in 2017 with a separate document gathering existing good practice examples. This document will be elaborated in the context of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU EU-funded project (VS/2017/0017) “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care”.
HOSPEEM and EPSU were invited to present their joint declaration on the occasion of the DG SANTE Expert Group “European Health Workforce” on 22 November 2016.
The joint declaration is now available in English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish.
HOSPEEM-EPSU joint declaration on CPD and LLL in EN – FR – DE – SV – ES
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 2014-2015 the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector dealt with a range of topics, carried out project-related activities and agreed on several documents.
Download the document:
A patient safety package was recently published by the European Commission highlighting how the Commission and EU countries are addressing the challenge of patient safety, progress made since 2012 and barriers to overcome as foreseen in a Council Recommendation of 2009. While significant progress was made in terms of shaping national programmes for patient safety and putting in place systems for patients to report adverse effects, patient safety is still seldom addressed in education and training of healthcare workers. The documents will feed into the reflection process on future EU-level action on patient safety and quality of care.
Of particular interest for HOSPEEM members are the report and recommendations on education and training of health professionals included in this package. The recommendations take into account the reported initiatives of education and training in patient safety, illustrated with examples and experience from 27 European countries, and complemented by a list factors necessary to their implementation. To read more about the patient safety package, click here.