King’s Health Partners and EUHA presented the symposium “Rethinking European Health Systems: Creating the Sustainable Health Workforce of the Future” at the EUHA Members’ Assembly in London

DATE June 29th, 2023

Organised by King’s Health Partners and featuring many EUHA panellists, the symposium “Rethinking European Health Systems: Creating the Sustainable Health Workforce of the Future” addressed the pressing concerns surrounding the uncertain future of healthcare, the current workforce shortages, and the urgent need to transform the delivery of care to meet both patient and staff wellbeing. From discussing innovative examples of tackling workforce shortages to exploring the role of university hospitals in supporting these solutions, the symposium fostered insightful conversations about healthcare sustainability.

At the EUHA Members’ Assembly June 2023, representatives from each EUHA member, including CEOs and Steering Committee members, were hosted by King’s Health Partners on 16th June in London. On the occasion of this meeting, Prof Ian Abbs, Chief Executive Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT and serving as EUHA president at the time, extended an invitation to EUHA colleagues, working groups and networks to visit London and join the symposium “Rethinking European Health Systems: Creating the Sustainable Health Workforce of the Future” scheduled on the preceding day, 15th June 2023, at the Science Gallery (Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge, London).

Additionally, several EUHA Working Groups and Networks met in person during these dates to further develop their ongoing projects and activities. As a result, King’s Health Partners had the pleasure of hosting numerous EUHA colleagues for an inspiring and energising gathering.

“Rethinking European Health Systems: Creating the Sustainable Health Workforce of the Future” – Symposium

The symposium was organised in three different sessions:

In the past decade, healthcare systems have faced growing demands due to an ageing population, rising costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.  EUHA is concerned that these challenges, coupled with a shortage of healthcare workers, could pose challenges to healthcare accessibility, and limit system resilience during future health emergencies. For this reason, the EUHA Members’ Assembly adopted the healthcare workforce sustainability as a strategic goal and EUHA is exploring a joint European effort to find solutions.

Experts from across EUHA members came together at the symposium “Rethinking European Health Systems: Creating the Sustainable Health Workforce of the Future”, to navigate the uncertain future of healthcare by exploring sustainable long-term innovative solutions and discussing how university hospitals can best catalyse a much-needed healthcare transformation.

In opening the session Prof Ian Abbs emphasised the challenges facing health sytems across Europe, including the on-going impact of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which emphasised the importance of rapid, clinically led innovation collaborating across sectors and international boundaries to improve patient outcomes.

Session I: Rethinking Healthcare Systems

Chair: Jill Lockett (Managing Director at King’s Health Partners)

Panellist 1: Prof Catherine Paugam-Burtz (Deputy CEO Greater Paris University Hospitals, AP-HP)

Panellist 2: Prof Johan Van Eldere (Professor of Microbiology, Head of International Relations at UZ Leuven & EUHA Steering Committee member)

Panellist 3: Prof Dame Anne Marie Rafferty (Professor of Nursing Policy King’s College London)

This session delved into the complexities of navigating the uncertain future of healthcare systems. A panel of EUHA experts brought a fruitful discussion on how organisations and systems grapple with uncertainty and how to meet this challenge with interdisciplinary innovation.
Session II: Innovation from across the European University Hospital Alliance
Chair: Dr Claire Mallinson (Director of Education at King’s Health Partners, Consultant Anaesthetist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT)
Panellist 1: Dr Linetta Koppert (Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology, Clinical Epidemiologist at Erasmus MC)
Panellist 2: Diana Riknagel (Head of Innovation & International Affairs at Aarhus University Hospital & EUHA Steering Committee member)
Panellist 3: Prof Frieder Braunschweig (Director of Cardiology, Dept of Cardiology, Heart, and Vascular Centre at Karolinska University Hospital)
This session showcased innovations within EUHA hospitals that address the pressing challenges in healthcare. EUHA panellists presented examples of transformative approaches that have the potential to transform healthcare delivery and drive positive change in healthcare systems and organisations.
Session III: Working together across professional, multidisciplinary, organisational and international boundaries.  
Panellist 1: Dr Anna Sala (Head of Innovation at Hospital Vall d’Hebron)
Panellist 2: Dr Gerry Lee (Reader in Advanced Clinical Practice, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London)
Panellist 3: Sussanne Maassen (MSc, PhD Candidate, Nursing Consultant & Project Leader Future proof nursing)

Panellist 4: Prof Prokar Dasgupta (Professor of Academic Surgery at King’s Health Partners)
This session explored the pivotal role of university hospitals in addressing current challenges. EUHA experts shared insights on how these institutions can serve as catalysts for innovative solutions, shaping the future of healthcare

The symposium was closed by Björn Zoëga (MD, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer at Karolinska University Hospital), who highlighted the numerous challenges that healthcare systems are facing and the pressing need to rethink and change them. Importantly, Björn Zoëga emphasised how EUHA’s role in leading by doing and testing innovative solutions to face current challenges, together with the use of patient data, can positively impact patient well-being and the sustainability of the systems.

In short, the symposium was an inspiring opportunity for EUHA colleagues to reimagine European health systems with a sustainable health workforce.

Thank you to the host, Kings’ Health Partners, for the organisation of this energising event!