HOPE celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016: an opportunity for the organisation to look back and forward. HOPE is looking back on how deeply healthcare systems have changed in a growing integrated world…. and looking forward to what is built today.
HOPE is now gathering 37 national organisations from 30 different countries, including the 28 Member States of the European Union. The majority of HOPE members are national hospital federations. Where there is no national hospital federation, members are national federations of local and regional authorities as hospital owners, or representatives of national health systems. HOPE covers around 80% of the hospital sector in Europe, but also a growing part of the other components of healthcare services as well as of the social sector.
Further information can be found at www.hope.be.
Membership and structure
HOPE is organised around a Board of Governors (see Box below), a President’s Committee, Liaison Officers, a network of National Coordinators of the HOPE Exchange programme, and a Central office. The Board of Governors (BoG) consists of the President and the Governors, one from each Member State, and is the forum for all major policy decisions. The President, Sara Pupato Ferrari (Spain), was elected in May 2014. The Vice-President is Eva Weinreich-Jensen, the Danish Governor. The President’s Committee (PsC) consists of the President, the Vice-President and three Governors: from Estonia, Finland and Germany. The Governors from Poland, The Netherlands and Slovenia are part of it as co-opted members. The PsC oversees the implementation and the execution of the Board of Governors’ decisions, co-ordinates the work, acts for HOPE and authorises legal representation. The work of HOPE is organised around a network of Liaison Officers, one for each member organisation. The Liaison Officers are meeting three times a year. The network of National Coordinators of the HOPE Exchange programme meets twice a year to prepare the HOPE Exchange programme under the authority of the Chief Executive. The Central Office is based in Brussels (Belgium). It is organised and directed by the Chief Executive Pascal Garel, working with Isabella Notarangelo, Health Economist, and EU Policies Officer, Valentina Lisi.
Representation and influence
In the broader context of the increasing influence of EU policies on hospitals and healthcare, HOPE had to handle several EU issues in 2017 and was asked to intervene in major European meetings, seminars and conferences. HOPE contributed to the design of several conferences and seminars of the Latvian and the Luxembourg presidencies and continued its work with the High Level Group on Health Services and Medical Care. This Group, created in 2004, brings together experts from Member States and selected stakeholders. HOPE participates to the successors of the High Level working groups on Patient Safety and Quality and on European health workforce.
HOPE is working principally with the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), the remit of which enlarged in 2010 to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, although the latest returned to DG GROW in the new Commission in 2014. The official entry point with DG SANTE is the EU Health Policy Platform. In parallel, HOPE started its participation in the new process initiated by the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) on some aspects of the medical devices policy. With the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, HOPE’s activities in the field of eHealth and mHealth were further developed. HOPE participated actively to the meetings of the eHealth Users’ Stakeholders Group and represented the view of hospitals in several discussions devoted to eHealth. Directorate GROW for public procurement and the Directorate General for Justice which also rules data protection, were among the other directorates HOPE had an active relation with.
HOPE worked on diverse issues in 2016. Some of them were rather political, some more technical. The main issue remained the transposition of the Directive on cross-border healthcare and its consequences, in particular the creation of European Reference Networks. Four other significant initiatives of the Commission were also on the agenda: the regulation on medical devices; in vitro diagnostics; counterfeit medicine; the regulation on data protection; and the initiatives around standardisation of healthcare services.
Exchange of good practices
HOPE is fostering the exchange of good practice through different channels. The major ongoing project is the Joint Action on Patient Safety and Quality of Care that followed the EUNetPaS project. Its main goal is to establish an umbrella network to improve cooperation among Member States in the field of patient safety. HOPE is also involved in other joint actions: cancer, organ donation, workforce planning, eHealth and Health Technology Assessment (HTA). HOPE also worked on projects related to cross-border care (HonCab), health IT standardisation (eStandards), sensors (ICT4LIFE) and medication safety (MedEye).
Knowledge on hospitals is sparse and spread in different sources. HOPE transferred and updated its work “Hospitals in the EU 28” on its website, giving comparable information for each of the EU Member States. Finally, in 2016 HOPE organised its Exchange programme for the 35th time, with a central topic of “Innovations in hospitals and healthcare: the way forward”. The HOPE Exchange programme was concluded with the HOPE Agora in Rome on 6–8 June 2016, also celebrating the 50th anniversary of HOPE.