Training on Patient Safety took place in Brussels

Building capacity in patient safety has been identified as a priority by the European Patients’ Forum’s Secretariat to encourage and support members’ effective participation in EPF’s patient safety-related activities; particularly the 2016 EU-level conference “Patient and Family Empowerment for Better Patient Safety” that is coming up on November 8-9th and its follow-up activity in 2017.

Given that many member organisations identify patient safety as a high-level priority, EPF decided to organise a one-day training module available to all its members to provide a good overview and understanding of EU policy, gaps and opportunities.
The objective of the training was to strengthen the knowledge of EPF members in EU-level policies on patient safety and to encourage the participation in EPF’s future activities on this topic.
By the end of the session, the participants have developed knowledge related to:

  • Understanding the key concepts of patient safety, including “patient safety culture” and the nature of patient safety as a system challenge;
  • Understanding past and present activities at EU level, including collaborative activities and the role of EU “soft law” such as the Council recommendation 2009 and the way patient safety has been prioritised by successive EU presidencies.

In addition, participants have:

  •  Brainstormed on the role of patients and families in improving patient safety;
  • Debated some of the specific challenges of patient empowerment in the context of patient safety, including ethical dilemmas and challenges in different healthcare settings;
  • Identified priority topics from the patient perspective for inclusion in the programme of the upcoming EPF conference in November 2016.

External speakers delivered presentations dedicated to different points of view on the topic. Jeni Bremner from the European Health Management Association spoke on key concepts of patient safety. Dominiue Monnet from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) spoke about the challenges in patient safety in the light of anti-microbial resistance and healthcare associated infections. He placed a focus on number of antibiotic resistances throughout Europe showing extensive data on the problem. That information was supplemented with various case studies that gave vivid examples of EU citizens who share their stories and fought drug and microbial resistances.

Momchil Baev for NPO raised a question on how ECDC can support patient organizations to take more actions on national level and raise awareness on the drug resistances. Together with that he suggested an EU-wide campaign initiated by EPF but institutionally supported by ECDC. Mr. Monnet offered help in facilitating contact with all national contact points that they have and who specifically deal with anti-microbial resistance. That would allow for national planning of initiative that would involve patient organizations.