Human resources in home care in Europe.

Genet, N., Lamura, G., Boerma, W., Hutchinson, A., Garms-Homolova, V., Naiditch, M., Chlabicz, S., Ersek, K., Gulácsi, L., Fagerstrom, C., Bolibar, B. Human resources in home care in Europe. Journal of Clinical Nursing: 2010, 19(suppl. 1), p. 48. Abstract. 4th European Nursing Congress 'Older Persons. The Future of Care'. 4-5 oktober 2010, Rotterdam.
Introduction: The increasing old-age dependency ratio implies future reduction of human resources available to provide services. Little information is available about the level of qualification, contractual aspects, payment and working conditions of home care workers and the existence of staff shortages and recruitment problems in different countries. Methods and Materials: This presentation is based on the results of the EC-financed EURHOMAP project. Indicators have been developed in this project to map the home care systems in Europe, including details of human resources. In 2009 and early 2010, EURHOMAP partners have collected data on these indicators in 31 countries in collaboration with experts in these countries. Results were described in uniformly structured country reports and fed back to national experts for validation. Results: In many countries numbers of those working in private organisations are not available. Furthermore financial incentives and working conditions will be compared, as well as the task division between home care workers and to what extent educational requirements are explicitly formalised. Mechanisms of quality control of human resources differ strongly (e.g. recertification of nurses; rules for the education of home care nurses). An interesting phenomenon, related to pressures to increase efficiency, is the transfer of tasks or substitution which is taking place between home care workers of different qualification levels. In contrast to the provision of technical nursing, the provision of personal care and domestic aid is less strictly related to specific qualifications. Conclusion: Shortages in human resources are a common problem in many countries, but expectedly most in countries just having developed home care. There is a strong variation in mechanisms of quality control of home care professionals; in the level of education required; and in the strength of the position of home care workers. (aut. ref.)