Issue 3 - September 2015


Dear subscriber subscriber,

In this edition of the newsletter, you can find information about the upcoming Helsinki conference that will take place on 10 November in the framework of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on occupational health and safety. You will also find news about HOSPEEM, news from members, relevant EU news, upcoming events and recent publications.

Sara Fasoli has joined the HOSPEEM Secretariat as part-time Administrative Officer. Sara Fasoli comes from Italy and will take over the tasks from Celine Barlet during her maternity leave. She holds a master degree in International Policy and Diplomacy from the University of Padua, Italy, and she studied at the European Institute in Geneva. Currently she is also working part-time at the European Volunteer Centre as project and events assistant. Previously, she worked at the ALDE Secretariat at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, and at several other international positions.

This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool aimed at facilitating not only the flow of communication from the EU level, but also to support the exchange of information between our members, as well as for giving your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe. We therefore encourage you to send us your contributions to enrich the future issues.

Enjoy your reading !

Tjitte Alkema

Secretary General of HOSPEEM



Social partners' conference on approaches to the issue of psycho-social risks and stress at work

On 10 November 2015, the second conference of the joint HOSPEEM – EPSU project on occupational health and safety risks entitled “Social partners’ conference on approaches to the issue of psycho-social risks and stress at work” will take place in Helsinki (co-organised by JHL, Superlitto and Tehy and supported by EPSU, draft agenda available here).

This conference will focus on the causes and impacts of psycho-social risks and stress in the hospital sector, on how they can be best prevented and addressed and on how an effective risk assessment and management can be organised. Registration is open until 30 September 2015 - please contact the HOSPEEM Secretariat if you would like to attend.

The dates of other HOSPEEM events/meetings are available in the events section of the website. You can also find online a list of HOSPEEM representatives and HOSPEEM activity reports.

HOSPEEM participation in the CEEP Social Affairs Board and Health and Safety Task Force

On 21 September, HOSPEEM, sectoral member of CEEP, participated in the meeting of the CEEP Social Affairs Board (SAB). The discussions focused mainly on the Better Regulation Package, the European Commission’s thematic groups on social dialogue, the upcoming negotiation of an autonomous agreement on active ageing by EU cross-industry social partners and the new Commission’s roadmap on work-life balance. Moreover, at this occasion, the study of Eurofound on restructuring in the public sector was presented.

The CEEP Health and Safety Task Force, of which Ned Carter (SALAR) is the Chair, was held the day after. The participants discussed the issue of active ageing, work-life balance, better regulation and REFIT as well as the upcoming EU-OSHA campaign and activities. The HOSPEEM and EPSU guidelines on ageing workforce adopted in December 2013 were highlighted as a possible starting point to define the mandate for the negotiation of the cross-industry social partners’ framework agreement on active ageing. 



Member's profile: CLAE

The Commission for Local Authority Employers – CLAE (or Local Government Employers - LGE / KT Kuntatyönantajat) is the Finnish member of HOSPEEM. CLAE has been functioning since 1970, representing all Finnish local and joint municipal authorities.  Finland has 317 municipalities and 125 joint municipal authorities. These local authorities employ about 429 000 employees, a fifth of Finland's employed labour force. More than 80% of all local government personnel work in the health care, social services and educational sectors.

CLAE (or LGE) is an interest organisation for local government employers representing all Finnish local and joint authorities. It negotiates and concludes collective agreements in the local government sector. CLAE has a key role in improving performance and the quality of working life. Municipal public health work is the foundation of the Finnish health system. Hospitals run by joint municipal authorities provide 95 per cent of all specialist medical care and the remaining 5 per cent is provided by the private sector. Read more.

NVZ support to continuous professional development

 NVZ, the Dutch member of HOSPEEM, manages a governmental grant scheme (‘Kwaliteitsimpuls’ in Dutch) in the field of continuous professional development. NVZ has chosen to invest in health care professionals as the future workforce will have to change significantly to meet the huge, fast-paced changes facing the Dutch health service. In order to receive a subsidy, hospitals have to submit a strategic training and development plan, ideally linked to the long-term vision of the hospitalThis is a major challenge for many health care institutions. NVZ supports them in the realisation of their strategic training plans.

Thanks to this scheme, CPD is now firmly on the strategic agendas of hospital management in the Netherlands and is generally recognised as an important strategic instrument for improving health and health care. The aim, both now and in the future, is to continue providing health care that is safe, reliable and of high quality. Earlier this year, health care in the Netherlands was again rated highest in Europe but a great deal of attention is already needed now to meet healthcare demands in 2020. Staff expertise and talent management are important core concept in the visions, missions and strategies set out by hospitals. Read more. 

NHS promotes European social partnership

In England in July 2015, at the occasion of the meeting of the NHS social partnership forum, Kate Ling from the NHS Confederation’s European Office and Kim Sunley from the Royal College of Nursing presented jointly about social partnership work at European level between HOSPEEM and EPSU. The presentation especially highlighted that social dialogue can be surprisingly powerful and may result in legislation that must be implemented by all Member States. One example is the Directive on prevention of sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector (the “Sharps Directive”), which directly translates into law an agreement negotiated between HOSPEEM and EPSU and was implemented in the UK as the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013. They also highlighted a range of guidelines and codes of conduct agreed by HOSPEEM and EPSU. Read more. 

How will TTIP affect health services in Europe? NHS closely monitors developments

On 21 September HOSPEEM member the NHS European Office attended a meeting with the researchers tasked by the European Commission with conducting an impact assessment on the likely impact of TTIP (the trade pact currently being negotiated between the EU and US) on the health sector in areas such as labour standards, medical innovation and products and provision of public health services. The NHS will continue to monitor developments closely to assess potential benefits or threats. Read more information on the impact assessment.



European Commission roadmap on challenges of work-life balance faced by working families

After announcing the withdrawal of the maternity leave proposal due to the lack of progress by the co-legislators, the European Commission set out its ideas for a new approach in the form of a roadmap published in August. This initiative is aimed at increasing the participation of women in the labour market and improving working conditions through better work-life reconciliation, appropriate protection and strengthened gender equality and therefore aims to modernise the current EU legal and policy framework and adapt it to today’s labour market. The new initiative could contain a mix of legislative and non-legislative measures. Social partners will be consulted on this initiative which will be part of the Commission's Work Programme for 2016. Read more.

European Commission report on the Cross-border healthcare directive

On 4 September the European Commission published a report on the state of play of the implementation of the Cross-border healthcare Directive (Directive 2011/24/EU), nearly two years after it was due to be transposed into national law. The report highlights legislative advances at EU level as well as efforts at national level. According to the report, this Directive has contributed to shape healthcare reform in many EU countries and has improved transparency and patient mobility throughout the EU. However, the report also shows that European citizens' awareness about their right to choose healthcare in another EU country remains low. Read more.

Proposal for a Council recommendation on long-term unemployed

The European Commission published on 17 September a proposal for a Council Recommendation on long-term unemployment to improve re-integration of long-term unemployed in the labour market. The Commission’s proposal puts forward three main measures: encouraging the registration of long-term unemployed with an employment service, providing each registered long-term unemployed with an individual in-depth assessment to identify their needs and potential at the latest at 18 months of unemployment and offering a job integration agreement (tailor-made plan to bring the long-term unemployed back to work) to all registered long-term unemployed at the latest at 18 months. The proposal also calls for the active involvement of employers through partnerships with the public authorities. The Commission's proposal will now be submitted to the Council for discussion and adoption. An infographic is available here. Read more.



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

09/11/2015 : HOSPEEM Steering Committee, Helsinki

10/11/2015 : Conference on psycho-social risks and stress at work, OSH Project, Helsinki

09/12/2015 : HOSPEEM Administration Council/General Assembly/Steering Committee

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

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

Other events:

03-04/11/2015: EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Summit 2015, Bilbao

19/11/2015: Eurofound, Cedefop and EESC joint seminar on Work organisation and workplace learning: Creating a win-win environment, Brussels

19/11/2015: 3rd Joint European Hospital Conference, Düsseldorf, Germany

24/11/2015: Eurofound High-level conference with the EU Presidency of Luxembourg - Changing working conditions - What can we learn and improve ?, Luxembourg



Eurofound report on private provision of public services

Eurofound has just published the report “Delivering public services: A greater role for the private sector? An exploratory study in four countries” (and its Executive summary) which explores the growing role of the private sector in the provision of public services in the EU. It examines the processes by which the private sector became increasingly involved and the implications for access, quality and effectiveness of services for service users. It focuses specifically on the areas of healthcare, long-term care, early childhood education and care (ECEC) and employment services. This research is based on sector-specific case studies carried out in the UK, Sweden, Lithuania and Spain.  

The Eurofound research project continues in 2015 and narrows its scope to provide a more in-depth view of services in hospitals. Read more.

Joint Action on Health Workforce - Terminology gap analysis

The relative unavailability and inadequacy of data are major obstacles to thoroughly assess the extent and impact of health workforce challenges and policies. Work Package 4 of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting has performed an analysis aiming to support the improvement of the data collection scheme by contributing to a better understanding of available data within the EU Member States and by providing recommendations to improve comparable health workforce data collection. Read more

EU-OSHA comprehensive guide to EU funding in OSH

This EU-OSHA guide identifies funding sources for activities, initiatives or projects related to occupational safety and health (OSH). In Part I, easy-to-use funding factsheets give brief descriptions of European Union funding programmes. In Part II you can find out about relevant European structural and investment funds that are implemented by national authorities. Read more

EU Employment and Social Situation - Quarterly Review

The latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review published by DG EMPL in June 2015 confirms that the EU economy continues its moderate recovery, which is broadening across Member States. Labour markets in the EU continue to gradually recover, benefiting from the strengthening in economic activity. Employment continues to improve in the EU, euro area and most Member States, and is higher than a year ago in the quasi totality of Member States. Read the Quaterly Review.

WHO report on health workforce sustainability

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published the report “Making progress on health workforce sustainability in the WHO European Region”. This document presents progress made in recent years on achieving the aims and objectives of the WHO global code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel in the European Region, within the broader context of challenges to human resources for health. Read more.

Health professional mobility in Europe

The WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies have recently published a policy brief which analyses the implications of health professional mobility for destination and source countries and for the EU as a whole and presents concrete policy tools that decision-makers can use to address its effects on efficiency and equity. Read more.

OECD Health Statistics 2015

According to the OECD Health Statistics 2015 released in July, many European countries saw further reduction in health spending in 2013. In most EU countries, real per capita health spending is below the levels of 2009 whereas outside Europe health spending has been growing at around 2.5% per year since 2010. The OECD Health Database is a comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across the 34 OECD countries. Read more. 

WHO/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies - Economic crisis, health systems and health in Europe

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and WHO Europe published at the beginning of September a new study providing additional evidence on the impact of the economic crisis on health systems and health in Europe. It maps and analyses health systems' responses to the financial and economic crisis by country, focusing on the three following policy areas: public funding of the health system, health coverage and health service planning and purchasing and delivery. Read more. 

European Commission study on Recruitment and Retention of Health Workforce in Europe

The European Commission published in July the final report of the study of DG SANTE on recruitment and retention of health workforce in Europe, into which HOSPEEM and EPSU provided a social partner-based input. Read more.