The Practice Platform

Implementing effective strategies, programmes, and initiatives to promote health and reduce health inequalities.

Building and exchanging knowledge between members

The Practice Platform works to ensure international knowledge and best practice exchange. This work includes country exchange visits, in which senior staff from EuroHealthNet member organisations visit other countries and organisations to examine how they approach different issues. The visits are co-organised by EuroHealthNet and members. Seminars, workshops, and other similar activities are also organised.

This year we organised two country exchange visits and one workshop. In addition, capacity building and other activities relating to financing health promotion and prevention were organised. More information is available in the chapter on ‘Financial sustainability for health promotion and health equity’.

Country Exchange Visit
Paris, France. 12-13 June 2018

Giving all young children a healthy start – an exchange on evidence-based interventions

The aim of this visit, hosted by Santé Publique France, was to explore initiatives relating to the first 1,000 days of life and to facilitate exchange of related best practices, policies, and experiences between national and regional organisations. The visit examined measures such as the new French prevention plan and changes at the EU level. It also considered interventions such as baby-friendly hospitals, family allowance funds, a low birthweight programme in Wales, positive parenting interventions in Spain, child and maternal protection centres in France, and the WHO Healthy Cities Network. Participants discussed pregnancy and environmental health, promoting health and attachment of new-borns and parents, childhood and youth poverty prevention, and the WHO Collaborating Centre on Childhood and Adolescent Health.

Read the report
Country Exchange Visit
Sofia, Bulgaria. 13- 14 November 2018

Health inequalities, de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of people with chronic diseases and mental ill-health

This exchange, hosted by the Bulgarian National Centre of Public Health and Analyses, covered four topics: health and social inclusion, including current work in Bulgaria on health promotion and prevention; mental health and wellbeing, including an exchange on best practices and a visit to a centre for psychosocial rehabilitation; the inclusion of people with chronic non-communicable diseases, looking at how to strengthen existing and innovative approaches; and action on chronic diseases at the EU level. The discussions also involved the WHO Europe Country Office and considered relevant examples from the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, France, Hungary and Slovenia.

Read the report
Expert Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal. 28 February 2019

Digital Health Literacy - An Intersectoral Approach

In collaboration with the Portuguese Directorate-General of Health, we held an expert workshop on digital health literacy. This is the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to address or solve health issues. However, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, people experiencing vulnerabilities, or older people may not fully benefit from technological advancements. The workshop explored how an intersectoral approach to digital health literacy can be addressed, with a focus on people in ‘vulnerable’ groups. We brought together key experts at national and European levels to exchange knowledge on the implementation of digital health literacy within national public health policies. The workshop produced a series of recommendations for strengthening digital health literacy for all.

Read the expert recommendations

Implementation, innovation, and prevention of chronic diseases

EuroHealthNet is a partner in the EU Joint Action on Chronic Diseases, ‘CHRODIS Plus’. The action focuses on the implementation of policies and practices that have been demonstrated to be successful to reduce the burden of chronic diseases.

EuroHealthNet’s work in Joint Action CHRODIS Plus covers two work packages:

  • we lead work on health promotion and disease prevention in close cooperation with our member, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL);
  • we also lead a consortium of twenty-two partners from fourteen countries, to build on the successful results from the previous Joint Action CHRODIS.
Country ReportS

Country reports on health promotion and disease prevention

EuroHealthNet, along with THL, has analysed and assessed the health promotion and disease prevention landscapes from twenty-one countries. The resulting country reports give a quick idea of the situation and key actors in the respective countries; provide an understanding of what is needed in terms of health and other relevant policies and strategies (physical education, anti-smoking laws, employment policies, etc.) and in terms of implementation of good practices for the target groups; present a helpful reference point for more efficient cross-national learning;  and provide insights from an EU perspective into broader health systems organisation as well as be the input source for policy dialogues. An overview report has also been published and presented to the EU Health Policy Platform in a dedicated webinar organised by European Commission DG SANTE.

Transferring best practices

EuroHealthNet led work to transfer recognised good practices into different contexts. CHRODIS Plus partners have adapted and implemented selected practices into their respective countries and contexts. Partners focused on three thematic groups: children in schools, adults in the workplace, and older people. Over the last year, partners have reviewed and agreed on the common framework for systematic assessments of their chosen good practice in relation to their context, including an analysis of the feasibility of the transfer. Additionally, partners have developed an action plan and assessed and adapted the intervention to their local context. Since January, the partners have commenced the implementation stage which, as work package leaders, EuroHealthNet oversees.

The good practices that will be implemented for children in schools include:

  • The Irish JA-CHRODIS Good Practice “Active School Flag” (ASF) implemented by Piedmont Regional Health Promotion Documentation Centre (DORS, Italy) and Institute of Hygiene (HI, Lithuania).
  • The Dutch JA-CHRODIS Good Practice “JOGG” implemented by Directorate of Health (DOHI, Iceland)
  • The Greek JA-CHRODIS Good Practice “ToyBox” implemented by Directorate of Health and Disease Prevention Malta.

The good practice focusing on adults in the workplace is:

  • The Italian JA-CHRODIS Good Practice “Lombardy Workplace Health Promotion Network” implemented by Andalusian Regional Ministry of Equality, Health and Social Policies (CSJA Spain).

The good practice focusing on older people in care settings is:

  • The Icelandic JA-CHRODIS study “Multimodal Training Intervention in Communities – an Approach to Successful Ageing” be implemented by Institute of Hygiene (HI) in Lithuania, Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII) in Spain, and Directorate of Health (DOHI) in Iceland.
Irish Minister for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne welcomed Chrodis+ Implementers of Active School Flag, Dublin, Ireland

Integrating promotion and prevention into health systems

EuroHealthNet’s remit also covers work that is examining ways to better integrate health promotion and disease prevention in the healthcare and wider social care systems. Led by our member, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), we identified the factors that facilitate and/or hinder collaboration, examine efficient ways of working between sectors, and support synergies between community-based and healthcare services efforts. This work has involved analysing intra-sectoral collaboration within healthcare that addresses both the prevention and management of chronic diseases and inter-sectoral collaboration between the broader health system and other sectors that provides opportunities for health promotion and disease prevention. A report that will outline recommendations for intra- and inter-sectoral collaboration for health promotion will be published in 2020.

Integration into National Policies and Sustainability

We have continued with the organisation of 15 National Policy Dialogues that aim to identify policies or changes to existing policies that can tackle major risk factors, and/or strengthen health promotion and prevention programmes, as well as healthcare approaches to chronic diseases and multimorbidity. We helped to organise, attended and reported on policy dialogues in:

  • Ireland (Tobacco control and inequalities – reflecting on the first five years of Tobacco Free Ireland – 12 June 2018)
  • Poland (Prevention of cardiovascular system and respiratory system diseases and their consequences by modification of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment – 27 November 2018)
  • Portugal (Advertisement of Food and Beverages to Children – 30 January 2019)
  • Lithuania (Mental health literacy, with a particular focus on divorce and interventions for parents and children) – 6 May 2019

The Policy Dialogues involve senior national policymakers and serve to elaborate national action plans for improved prevention and management of chronic diseases. As part of this work we have developed a guide for national organisers and held three webinars to aid the planning, moderating, and reporting of policy dialogues (Planning – July 2018, Moderating – 13 November 2018, and Reporting - 19 March 2019).

General Assembly and Conference
May 13 – 15 2019, Budapest, Hungary

This was an opportunity for over 160 partners and stakeholders to explore the activities of CHRODIS Plus. The event provided a balance of practical presentations followed by in-depth group discussions. The key intention was interaction and practicality. As a work package leader, we made a series of presentations that detailed our work supporting the implementation of good practices. Our key presentation was on three projects that improve health of children and young people through the development of healthy practices.

Collaborating on EU Joint Actions on Health Equity and Vaccination

Participation in the EU Joint Action Health Equity Europe (JAHEE)

The aim of JAHEE is to improve health and well-being of European citizens and achieve greater equity in health outcomes across all groups in society – both in participant countries and in Europe as a whole. People in vulnerable groups including refugees and migrants will be in focus. In 2019 EuroHealthNet became a subcontractor in the Action. Our work will focus mostly on policy and dialogue building, advocacy, and communication and dissemination.

In 2018, EuroHealthNet co-organised a seminar on Health Inequalities at the European Public Health Forum Gastein where the JAHEE approach was debated.

Collaboration with the Joint Action on Vaccination

The European Joint Action on Vaccination (EU-JAV) brings together 20 partners in 17 Member States to monitor more accurately vaccination coverage, ensure that everybody in the European Union has access to vaccination, improve forecasting of vaccine stocks and systems for the prevention of shortages, set priorities for research and development on vaccination, and enhance the public confidence in vaccination.

EuroHealthNet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate as a part of the EU-JAV Stakeholders Forum. We will support the activities on dissemination, integration of national policies and sustainability, and vaccine hesitancy and uptake. In 2019 we updated out factsheet on vaccination.

This was published during vaccination week.

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