European Network for Patients Empowerment

Our senior Policy Adviser Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous attended the ENOPE meeting in Zürich on 14 November. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss network activities for the next years, as well as a major conference coming up in 2014 on patient empowerment, and how each participating organisation could contribute to the programme. ENOPE is a network whose goal is to promote patient empowerment in Europe. Its founding members are organisations that implement evidence based programmes to support empowerment and self-management of patients living with chronic diseases – the Careum foundation in Switzerland, the Danish committee for health education, and the UK-based expert patients programme community Interest Company.

The network promotes public, professional and political awareness of the critical role patients play in living with chronic disease; advocates for the integration of patient empowerment in European health systems; organises training courses on implementing approaches which promote patient empowerment, aims to increase the evidence base of such programmes, and make the expertise of experienced programmes available to others.

EPF welcomes the chance to collaborate with this network, which shares our fundamental philosophy that patients are a valuable resource for health systems rather than a problem. In the next months we will conclude a formal collaboration agreement.

Previously this year, Nicola Bedlington EPF director had attended the 1st European Conference on Patient Empowerment organised by ENOPE, which debated issues such as greater access to information and knowledge, - increasing use of social media - experience with self-management programs - the new legal requirements for patient involvement - the reorganization of health care systems - the availability of new technologies -  were debated by delegates from Europe and by a panel of key policy makers.

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