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The European voice for informal carers

Long-term care coordinators kick-off meeting

On 19 June 2023, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, welcomed for the first time national long-term care coordinators (LTC) and contact points and stressed their role in driving relevant reforms at national levels and in contributing to EU level cooperation.

National long-term care coordinators (LTC) and contact points were appointed appointed by Member States for the implementation of the Council Recommendation on access to affordable high-quality long-term care.

Round table discussion

The round table discussion, chaired by Katarina Ivanković Knežević, Director for Social Rights and Inclusion, DG EMPL, was an opportunity for the national coordinators to present themselves, explain the coordination set up in their countries and flag national LTC policy priorities, good practice examples and the need for EU support.

All the Member States have either set-up a new coordination arrangement (by appointing a responsible person or a dedicated intergovernmental structure) or plan to rely on the already existing coordination set-up.

Many member states pointed to ongoing reforms, some of them also supported through RRPs and/or Technical Support Instrument and with a focus on:

  • design of integrated care models
  • improving working conditions in the care sector
  • shift to person-centred and home care-based models
  • improving the regulation of the profit-making sector and quality standards in residential care
  • developing care models for complex care needs with a focus on dementia.

Challenges most commonly mentioned and for which also there was interest in more exchanges at EU level included:

  • integration of health and long-term care systems (in terms of funding and organisations)
  • development or modernisation of needs assessment tools
  • measures to attract and retain staff to the sector, coordination mechanisms between local and national levels
  • regulating quality in home care settings as well as developing quality standards and indicators comparable at EU level
  • addressing regional disparities, sustainable funding models for local and regional authorities and civil society organisations providing care services
  • mobilising relevant EU funds and linking to Horizon Europe projects.

The meeting was followed by a mutual learning event on the quality of LTC – one of the building blocks of the Council Recommendation on LTC.

Next steps

  • The list of national LTC coordinators to be published online after securing the necessary permissions.
  • Re-launch requests for nominations for LU and IT and clarify coordination role for Cyprus
  • Next meeting of national LTC coordinators will be organised in September (online) to exchange on the process and form for the reporting to the Commission on measures taken or planned to implement it (to be submitted by June 2024).

Next mutual learning event will be held in November (dates tbc) and will focus on social protection for LTC.

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