A bright future with the Patient Engagement Open Forum

By Sally Hatton, EPF Youth Group Member

Last week I attended my first webinar as part of the Patient Engagement Open Forum, a series of online multi-format events taking place between June and November this year. The aim of the Forum is to turn patient engagement into reality and the session I attended included three quick-fire presentations on the key topics of Sustainability in Patient Engagement, Patient Engagement Agreements, and work on Patient Engagement in Central and Eastern Europe.

Although these topics may seem diverse, I found a strong theme throughout the session on not only the value of patient engagement, but the importance of recognising that it doesn't need to be a far out or idealised concept, and that there are real, achievable, and tangible steps that can be taken to make patient engagement work for everyone. I was impressed by how well all of the speakers were able to take the complexity of the issue and use their own real world experiences and subsequent data to lay out the different proven ways in which stakeholders - from government organisations, to researchers, to patients organisations - can work together to drive change. Plus, they all also provided useful resources to be used going forward.

The sessions left me really enthused and inspired for the forum and what it is trying to achieve in collaboration with EUPATI, Patient Focused Medicines Development, and the Paradigm Project, with which EPF are also involved. As a result, I’ve now signed up through their website to attend as many of the further sessions as possible.