Issue 1 - March 2015


Dear subscriber subscriber,

As you will read in this newsletter March is a busy month for HOSPEEM with the participation in the high level conference on social dialogue, the elaboration of the HOSPEEM response to the consultation on the working time directive and the upcoming conference in Paris on 25th March in the framework of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on occupational health and safety.

You will also find news from Members, EU News, upcoming events and recent publications. This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool to facilitate the flow of communication from the EU level, to support the exchange of information between our members and to give your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe. Therefore you are invited to send us your contributions for future issues.

Enjoy your reading !

Tjitte Alkema

Secretary General of HOSPEEM



HOSPEEM Steering Committee and Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting

The HOSPEEM Steering Committee met in Brussels on 5 March 2015. The Steering Committee members discussed in particular the implementation of a system of multiple membership per country and the improvement of current statutory provisions.  The HOSPEEM contribution to the European Commission consultation on the Working Time Directive was also discussed. 

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) took place the day after, on 6 March 2015. The meeting mainly focused on the follow-up to the Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention and on the preparation and planning of the Social partners’ conference on approaches to the issue of musculoskeletal disorders planned on 25 March 2015 in Paris.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU Working Group on Life-Long Learning (LLL) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and enabled to exchange views on these topics and identify the cornerstones for the future work.

All the dates of future meetings are listed in the events section on the HOSPEEM website. 

HOSPEEM at the High Level conference “A new start for social dialogue” 

On 5 March 2015, the European Commission organised in Brussels the high-level conference A New Start for Social Dialogue, intended to give a new impetus to social dialogue at EU level, 30 years after Val Duchesse.

This first key event of the new European Commission gathered leaders of European and national social partners’ organisations (both cross-industry and sectoral) to discuss with the European Commission concrete ways to strengthen social dialogue and to ensure a more substantial involvement of social partners in EU policy-making. The European Commission was represented by President Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and several Commissioners, among which Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.

The HOSPEEM Secretary General Tjitte Alkema was invited to participate in a workshop on social dialogue and better regulation and to deliver a presentation to present his views on this topic. At this occasion, the Public Services Employers’ Forum, an informal forum of European employers’ organisations cooperating on matters of joint interest, released a Joint Declaration. Read more

HOSPEEM response to the EC public consultation on the Working Time Directive

On 13 March 2015, HOSPEEM submitted its response to the European Commission public consultation on the Working Time Directive, on the basis of the contributions received from 10 members. During the preparation process the HOSPEEM Secretariat met HOPE Chief Executive Pascal Garel in order to exchange information on the respective answers received. Read more.



Member's profile: the Estonian Hospitals Association

The Estonian Hospitals Association - EHA (Eesti Haiglate Liit) is the Estonian member of HOSPEEM. It was created in 1994 and operates in the health care sector. Since the 90’s the Estonian Health System has moved towards a more decentralized healthcare system. Therefore EHA represents currently 23 hospitals at several levels, i.e. regional hospitals, central hospitals, general hospitals, a health care center and other types of hospitals. EHA unifies most of the employers in the Estonian Healthcare Sector and employs around 30 000 employees. At international level, EHA cooperates with HOPE and HOSPEEM. At national level, EHA is a member of the Estonian Employers' Confederation and collaborates with several public and private partners (professional associations, ministries, foundations, insurance funds). Read more. 

EU Healthcare Waste Management (EU-HCWM) 

NHS, the HOSPEEM member in the UK, is participating in a project developing an EU Standardised Approach to Vocational Qualifications in Healthcare Waste Management (EU-HCWM).The project aims to provide a unified approach to the development of National Occupational Standards and Vocational Educational Training (VET) Programmes for Healthcare Waste Management across the EU Member States. Read the latest EU-HCWM newsletter. 



European Commission Work Programme 2015

On 16 December 2014, the European Commission adopted its work programme for 2015, which comprises 23 new initiatives, including measures to promote employment, the integration of the long-term unemployed and labour mobility in the EU. The Commission moreover provided a list of 80 existing proposals which will be withdrawn or modified. The Commission will also pursue its REFIT programme, whose aim is to verify the relevance and effectiveness of European legislation. The EC will in particular evaluate the Directive 89/391/EEC and the 23 OSH related Directives. Read more

Investigating policy options on competition among healthcare providers 

The European Commission and its independent Expert Panel on Effective ways of investing in health has launched a public consultation on a preliminary opinion exploring policy options on competition among providers of healthcare services in EU Member States. The opinion addresses the role of competition among healthcare providers as an instrument to improve efficiency in the use of health system resources. Deadline of the consultation: 8 April 2015. 

Developing core competences for Healthcare assistants (HCA)

The European Commission has awarded in early March a tender to a consortium led by NIVEL to carry out a study which will explore the feasibility of the establishment of a Common Training Framework (CTF) for healthcare assistants (HCA) in the European Union. The study will start in the coming weeks. Read more.

Outcomes of the EPSCO Council 

On 9 March 2015, the EPSCO Council adopted conclusions on a strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2014-2020. The need to improve the implementation of the existing occupational safety and health legislation, to prevent risks to health and safety at work and to address the challenges posed by an ageing workforce and longer working careers are reaffirmed. The Council calls for action from both the Member states and the EU in order to adapt to these challenges and highlights the key role played by the social partners in the field of health and safety at work.

The Council also adopted conclusions on inclusive labour markets in which it recognizes the need to tackle long-term unemployment and make labour markets more inclusive through further reforms. The Council invites the Member states and the EC to work together with social partners and better involve them in discussions on how to improve job quality and ensure sustainable labour market inclusion.

At this occasion, the European ministers also held a policy debate on the employment and social policy aspects of the 2015 European Semester. The 28 country reports, analysing Member States' economic policies, published by the Commission on 26 February are available here.

Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields

The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks have published their final opinion on potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. The purpose of this opinion was to update the opinion of 2009 in light of newly available information. The results of current scientific research show that there are no evident adverse health effects if exposure remains below the levels recommended by the EU legislation. Read more.



SAVE the DATE ! HOSPEEM–EPSU and HOSPEEM events for members only :

25/03/2015: First conference on musculoskeletal disorders, OSH Project, Paris

15/06/2015HOSPEEM – EPSU SSDC HS* Working Group 2/2015, Brussels

16/06/2015 : HOSPEEM General Assembly/Steering Committee, Brussels

10/12/2015:  HOSPEEM – EPSU SSDC HS* Plenary meeting 2015, Brussels

* SSDC HS: Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector

 Other events:

23-24/03/2015EU Joint Action Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting 2nd Plenary Assembly, Madrid



HEE publishes Talent for Care Strategic Framework Guide

Health Education England (HEE) in partnership with NHS Employers and many other partners published a guide entitled "The talent for care, a national  strategic framework to develop the healthcare support workforce" at the end of 2014. Talent for Care is part of Health Education England’s Framework 15, a national guide to action in all aspects of workforce planning, education and training across health and care. Read more. 

DG SANCO study on CPD and LLL for health professionals

The EU Commission has recently published the final report of the 12-month study led by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) aiming to map and review continuous professional development and lifelong learning for health professionals in the EU. It focuses on the 5 regulated health professions as defined in the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, namely doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and pharmacists. The report sets out a series of recommendations with regard to the following areas: CPD structures and trends, barriers and incentives, patient safety and quality of care, financing and transparency, accreditation systems, European cooperation. Read the study.

EC Employment and Social Development in Europe 2014 report

In January 2015, the European Commission published a report on the employment and social developments in Europe in 2014. The opening Key Features section provides an overall review of developments, challenges and responses, followed by thematic chapters on: the legacy of the recession: resilience and challenges, investing in human capital and responding to long-term societal challenges, the future of work in Europe; job quality and work organisation for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, restoring convergence between Member States in the EU and EMU. Read more. 

EU-OSHA e-guide on psychosocial risks

EU-OSHA has recently launched an e-guide providing information about work-related stress and psychosocial risks in order to foster awareness, understanding and management of these issues in the workplace. This e-guide offers an overview of the nature of these hazards, their causes and consequences, advising on the first steps to take to assess and manage those risks and providing examples of effective actions. This tool is available in more than 30 language and country versions, containing information on national legislation and country specific practical resources. Read more. 

WHO Guidelines on injection safety

In new guidelines on injection safety published in February 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls for worldwide use, by 2020, of "smart" syringes, safety-engineered syringes preventing re-use, in order to protect patients against unsafe injections and protect health workers against accidental needle stick injuries and resulting infections. The WHO also stresses the need to reduce the number of unnecessary injections as a critical way of reducing risks. These new guidelines represent a decisive step in a long-term strategy to improve injection safety by working with countries worldwide. Read more.

Eurofound – Restructuring in the public sector in Europe

The Eurofound European Restructuring Monitor’s annual report 2014 provides an overview of the restructuring trends in the public sector in the EU Member States since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. It shows that the public sector in Europe has experienced the most severe restructuring for many decades. The study indicates that 19 EU Member States have experienced declining employment levels in the core public sector. Meanwhile, the health sector has continued to grow during the peak years of the crisis and afterwards, although at a slowing pace since 2011. Read the report.

Eurofound - Tackling violence and harassment at work

A comparative report recently published by Eurofound looks at the extent of violence and harassment in European workplaces and their impact on workers’ health and productivity. Findings from national surveys indicate that women are more likely to report having experienced violence and harassment than men and that healthcare workers, having substantial contact with patients, are particularly vulnerable. Read more

Eurofound - Industrial relations and working conditions developments in Europe 2013

This Eurofound report describes the main developments and trends in industrial relations and working conditions in 2013 in the EU Member States and in Norway, from both a national and EU-level perspective, including changes in the role and organisation of social partners and the impact of government measures and legislation. The report focuses on legislative initiatives and social dialogue in the following areas: industrial action, pay and wage-setting, working time, health and safety at work, conditions of employment, gender equality and discrimination, entry into and exit from employment, and skills development. Read more.

European Youth Forum ‘Employer’s Guide for Quality Internships’

The European Youth Forum and partners in partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium launched the ‘Employers Guide for Quality Internships’ in March 2015. The Employer’s Guide is a how-to tool, offering a collection of best practices and tips, in order to facilitate companies in providing internships that are of value to Europe’s young people. Read more

European Commission - Industrial Relations in Europe 2014

The European Commission has just published its 2014 edition of Industrial Relations in Europe. This report provides an overview of recent developments in the collective relationships between workers and employers in the European Union and examines the consequences of the economic crisis on industrial relations and social dialogue. Read more.

European Commission - Information and patients’ choices

The European Commission has published a study commissioned by DG SANCO to examine how the availability of information influences patients’ choices to seek healthcare abroad in the context of Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. The cost of the treatment and the waiting time appear to be key drivers of exercising one’s right to be treated by a healthcare provider in another Member State. This report therefore stresses the need to make these information easily and quickly accessible on the National Contact Point websites in order to allow patients to make an informed decision about where to seek medical care. Read more.

CEDEFOP - Report on vocational education and training policies 2010-2014

The Cedefop monitoring report “Stronger VET for better lives” underlines the progress made by European countries in terms of vocational education and training (VET).  A strong focus has been put on developing and implementing work-based learning and apprenticeship and on making VET more inclusive and more attractive. The development of national qualifications frameworks, measures to reduce early leaving and policies to promote lifelong learning for low-skilled and other groups at risk have also been top priorities. This report also emphasizes the need to go further, due the great number of challenges remaining, including better use of information on employability and labour market outcomes of VET graduates, strengthening efforts to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in VET and ensuring professional development opportunities for VET teachers and trainers.  Read more.