European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

Collection of challenges and lessons learnt by hospital and healthcare employers on COVID-19

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. Links to resources and references can be found in the footnotes.

The challenges and lessons learnt are clustered around four areas:

  1. Organisational challenges in terms of health workforce and shortages;
  2. Organisational challenges related to Personal Protective Equipment;
  3. The organisation of training for health workforce usually not working in the ICU setting;
  4. Risk assessment for the health workforce to assess their health status and “being fit for work”.

Commitment to the WHO Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety

Brussels, 16 November

HOSPEEM expresses its commitment to the World Health Organizations’ Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety. We agree that the health, safety, and well-being of health workers is a prerequisite for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the already mentioned key measures, HOSPEEM commits to the following:

1. Establish synergies between health worker safety and patient safety policies and strategies.

Aim to ensure the health workers’ safety when implementing the HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration on CPD and LLL for All Health Workers in the EU, which has been adopted in 2016.

2. Develop and implement national programmes for better occupational health and safety of health workers.

Updating the HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010) with lessons’ learnt from COVID-19 and previous joint projects on occupational safety and health.

3. Protect health workers from violence in the workplace.

Promote the implementation of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work, signed in 2010 and reaffirmed in 2020.

4. Improve mental health and psychological well-being of the health workforce.

Collect lessons learnt from national sectoral social partners in the hospital sector in the context of COVID-19 and create space for the exchange of good practices on improving mental health and the psychological well-being of the health workforce.

5. Protect health workers from physical and biological hazards.

Monitoring the developments of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive 2004/37/EC concerning the inclusion of hazardous medicinal products and cytotoxic substances as well as the development of non-binding measures in this regard.

Active participation as Official Campaign Partner in the EU-OSHA Healthy Workplace Campaign Lighten the Load (2020-2022).

Promoting the implementation of the Medical Sharps Directive 2010/32/EU in the European Member States by strengthening synergies with other relevant stakeholders.

Aim to ensure availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), relevant to the roles and tasks performed, in adequate quantity, of appropriate fit and acceptable quality.

Download the HOSPEEM committment to the WHOs’ Charter on Health Worker Safety (Pdf)

Nb: WHO invites all Member States, intergovernmental organizations, international organizations and relevant stakeholders to support and endorse this charter by signing up.

WHO technical resources – useful links:

Image credits: Courtesy of the World Health Organisation, 2020

HOSPEEM October Newsletter is published

In this October Newsletter edition, you find the HOSPEEM-EPSU joint position on the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products given the European Commission study on this topic as well as information on the launch of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces ‘Lighten the Load’. This newsletter includes our Member’s news, EU news, attended and future events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

29 October 2020 HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020 – Issue 4

EU-OSHA Campaign – Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load

Brussels, 29 October 2020

The EU-level Sectoral Social Partners for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS), the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) became official campaign partner of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load.

Marta Branca, Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM, said: “Sustainable participation of all health professionals is the most direct contribution to dealing with potential workforce-related issues. HOSPEEM will continue to promote the creation and maintenance of the safest possible workplaces and to promote active participation in continuing professional development (CPD) and life-long learning (LLL) for all health professionals. Ergonomic design is needed to improve healthcare facilities and to overcome the possible future decline in numbers of healthcare workers. I am convinced that our work and initiatives in the field of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the framework of the EU SSDC HS will lead to safer and healthier workplaces across Europe.”

Jan-Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, stressed that “MSDs are by far the most common work-related health problem among European workers. The social and economic consequences of this are now becoming abundantly clear. Millions of workers are no longer able to do certain tasks or even have to stop work altogether before retirement age. EPSU is strongly convinced that the wellbeing at work is a fundamental right, and we are ready to cooperate with employers to ensure it.”

Recent European statistics underline the need to address prevention of MSD in the health sector: The 2019 European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks showed that 59% establishments in the sector reported existing risk factors such as painful positions and 54% lifting or moving people or heavy loads. These findings are supported by results from the 6th European Working Conditions Survey, which highlighted that 47% of respondents working in the sector reported backache in the past 12 months.

To keep MSD high on the European and national agenda, coordinated responses from social partners are needed that are also in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU’s Framework Directive on OSH and the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work.
Next to becoming official campaign partners, we set out to:
1.) Update the existing HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010);
2.) Continue the discussion among European social partners to exchange good practices and strategies in the field of MSD;
3.) Continue to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level.

Throughout the years, HOSPEEM and EPSU have considered MSD of great importance in the health sector, e.g. by carrying out a project on MSDs and psycho-social risks and stress at work. The cooperation of employers and trade unions is fundamental in successfully managing and preventing MSDs.

Download our Press Release published on 12 October

Webinar on musculoskeletal disorders in the health sector, 25 February 2021

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Brussels, 24/09/2020

Every year more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe, including 7.3 million nurses, are potentially exposed to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic hazardous drugs. Studies show that hospital workers who handle cytotoxic drugs are three times more likely to develop malignancy and that nurses exposed to cytotoxic drugs are twice as likely to miscarry. The health hazard for handling these drugs is a significant concern as they are not only classified as potentially carcinogenic but also mutagenic (mutating genetic material) and reprotoxic (interfering with reproduction).

For HOSPEEM, it is particularly important to address handling techniques of hazardous medicinal products that are in line with national legislative specificities. While hospitals and healthcare employers are required to undertake risk assessments, it is clear that for example replacement of hazardous medicinal products is not an option for most cases, as patients still need these products for cancer and other treatments. Therefore, the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive need to clarify the terminology “technically possible” as stipulated in Article 5 (2, 3) “employers shall ensure that the carcinogen or mutagen is, in so far as is technically possible, manufactured and used in a closed system. Where a closed system is not technically possible, the employer shall ensure that the level of exposure of workers is reduced to as low a level as is technically possible.”

HOSPEEM and EPSU call the European Commission to include in its CMD4 report or accept parliamentary amendments for the revision of the CMD in 2020-2021 that include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, as a category in Appendix I. Healthcare workers and patients deserve to be protected by legislation now through measures that are legally binding for all the actors in healthcare, with the best possible systems of work, technology as well as education and training to avoid the risk of toxic and genetic damage and associated diseases resulting from exposure to hazardous drugs.

FULL TEXT:

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work

Brussels, 16 July 2020

A decade ago, the European Sectoral Social Partners, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce, CoESS identified third-party violence and harassment at the workplace as one of the key health and safety challenges to face within the European Economic Area and signed the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work. In 2018, EUPAE and TUNED joined these organisations in their work to tackle this pressing issue.

To this date, the Guidelines remain the only instrument signed by multiple European sectoral Social Dialogue Committees and are considered one of the significant achievements of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue.

Today, the Guidelines’ signatories reaffirm that their respective sectors continue to address third-party violence and all forms of harassment related to work, ensuring that, in the upcoming years, each workplace has a targeted results-oriented policy, also in the context of initiatives of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Download the Joint statement

The year 2019 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2019 is published. This activity report presents key information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2019 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe” has successfully started with regional workshops taking place in Bucharest in June 2019 and in Rome in November 2019.

Secondly, several HOSPEEM experts and representatives shared their knowledge across Europe joining their efforts to actively represent members’ views in the European arena.

Thirdly, a new work programme 2020-2022 for the European sectoral social dialogue was successfully adopted.

Download the report

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Work Programme 2020-2022 for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector

At the last meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS) in 2019, HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2020-2022. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e Occupational Safety and health, recruitment and retention of the health workforce,  Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, European/ EU-level healthcare policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – EN

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – streamlined version – EN

The year 2018 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2018 is published. This activity report presents basic information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2018 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, HOSPEEM and EPSU celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Code of conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in April 2018.

Secondly, the conference “A sound mind in a sound body- Taking care of those who take care of us” has been organised in Vilnius on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks and stress at work in May 2018.

Thirdly, a dissemination workshop on Occupational Safety and Health and Continuing Professionnal Development took place in the European Parliament in Brussel, hosted by two MEPs in December 2018.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the report

 

December HOSPEEM Newsletter is published

In this December 2018 edition of the newsletter, you will find information on the Social Partner’s Dissemination Workshop on Occupational Safety and Health and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), HOSPEEM news, news from our Members in France and in Lithuania.

This newsletter includes also relevant EU News, events and publications for hospital employers.

HOSPEEM Newsletter 2018 – Issue 5 (17 December 2018)