European Union consults on patient safety – deadline 20 May 2008

The European Commission (EC) launched, on 25 March 2008, an eight week public consultation on patient safety. The results of this will help in the development of the Commission’s proposal for on general patient safety issues planned for the end of 2008. That proposal will address the important issue of patient safety throughout the European Union (EU) and will include a detailed first pillar, addressing healthcare-associated infections (HCAI), on which separate public consultations have already been held.

The two primary objectives of the Commission’s general patient safety proposal will be:

i) to support Member States in their efforts to minimise harm to patients from adverse events in their health systems, through appropriate policies and actions to improve safety and, therefore, quality of care.

ii) to improve EU citizens’ confidence that they will receive sufficient and comprehensible information available on levels of safety and available redress in EU health systems, including healthcare providers in their own country and in other Member States.

According to the EC, “Patient safety issues can affect all EU citizens. The Commission would like to have the views of all those involved in this field from the patient and consumer to national competent authorities, from the health professional to the healthcare manager and anyone else who wishes to participate.”

Full details of the consultation can be accessed here.

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