Strengthening nursing to achieve better outcomes for Long-Term Care

Strengthening nursing to achieve better outcomes for Long-Term Care

Posted on March 14, 2019

Ahead of the EPSCO meeting, on 15 March, the EFN is reminding the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council that it is key to strengthen the nursing profession to achieve better outcomes for Long-Term Care (LTC).

Reflecting on the Country Reports for the 2019 European Semester we can say that there are some improvements as regards health system reforms, better effectiveness, accessibility, and resilience. Many EU Member States are making continuous efforts to re-focus health systems towards preventive care, whilst bolstering primary care and better coordination across care settings. Within these developments, nurses are co-designers as end-users, and their best practices and evidence in these country reports help finding concrete frontline solutions. However, the Country Reports for many Member States still highlight persisting challenges in health outcomes with unmet needs increasing.  It is therefore crucial to:

  • To address urgently significant risks in strategic planning by EU institutions and Member States;
  • To make sure the European Semester is better understood by and connected to local realities, needs, and communities;
  • To have more effective investments in public health and that LTC offers significant gains towards achievement of European Semester and global Sustainable Development Goals.

Taking this debate to the next step, and based on the EFN Policy Statement and Position Paper, the EFN members will take forward the European Semester work in three main ways, during the EFN April General Assembly, to take place in Brussels:

  • By sharing best practices and engaging EFN members in building knowledge and effective interventions to help meet the targets at EU, National and local levels;
  • By working with the EU Institutions, in particular with the European Commission, to build capacity and share innovative approaches led by nurses;
  • By finding EU solutions related to LTC.

In the last years, the European Commission has put efforts in better integrating the social dimension in the country analysis, with a stronger attention to the healthcare aspects, as:

  • Chronic diseases
  • Long-term care
  • Inefficiencies in the hospital sector
  • Discontinuation between primary and secondary care
  • Sustainability of the health systems
  • Workforce (workforce planning, education, etc.)

The European Semester is an annual process undertaken by the European Commission aiming to provide a framework for the coordination of national policies across the EU, and allowing the EU countries to discuss their plans and monitor progress at specific times throughout the year. Based on the country reports, the Commission proposes a number of recommendations to countries in order to help them prioritise the actions they need to take to achieve the EU’s long-term strategy for jobs and growth.