Patient Safety at the heart of EPF’s activities

Patient Safety is an on-going priority for EPF since the organisation was set up. Our Senior Policy Adviser Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous facilitated a workshop on the role of patients in system risk management at the European Workshop for patient Safety and took this opportunity to remind EPF’s key messages in this area.“We firmly believe that patient safety is a joint effort” said our Senior Policy Adviser. “Everyone has to do their best to reduce the risk of errors during treatment and care. That includes patients as their unique experience and expertise “as patients” is essential for patient safety interventions that really work”. However, patients have a role to play only with the proviso that they are empowered to take an active role in their own healthcare and that the environment that is enabling and supportive – without shifting the burden of responsibility for safety on to patients in a way that is inappropriate.  Health professionals need to become better in involving patients at the clinical practice level, and to recognise and respect the patients’ unique perspective. This requires education, training and a change in attitudes and perceived roles.

Report on the implementation of the Council recommendation

The European Commission has just published a report on the implementation of the Council recommendation on patient safety – the report is available in EU languages, while a more detailed staff working paper is also published but only in English. EPF's participating actively in the patient safety and quality of care working group of the commission, whose work programme for next year will be based largely on the report and the gaps identified in it. EPF was particularly involved in including specific provisions for patients and citizens empowerment in the Council recommendation. 

EPF members will be shortly contacted with a renewed EPF survey to gauge patient groups’ awareness of the Council recommendation and whether/to what extent provisions for patients and citizens empowerment have been implemented.

Data collection questionnaire

As you know, EPF is involved in the development of the European Union Network for Patient Safety and Quality of Care (PaSQ) Joint Action.  As a stakeholder partner we are participating in the data collection for this Joint Action. If you are an EPF member organisation, you are welcome to contribute any good practices that you know are being implemented in your country or disease of your concern, to the PaSQ data collection process. First you have to create your online account through this link: When your account is created, you can find the online questionnaire in the Wiki section. We would encourage you to complete the questionnaires before 21 December 2012 to allow time to collect and process the first set of answers and present them at the next PaSQ coordination meeting on 14 January 2013.

For more information, please contact