Patient safety

WHO Regional Office for Europe: Patients for Patient Safety Workshop

3-5 September 2007

The Patients for Patient Safety workshop for the European Region took place in Ireland in early September 2007. 58 patients, health professionals and policymakers from 21 countries across Western, Central and Eastern Europe met in Dublin to build a network, partnership and strategies for the future of patient engagement in patient safety work at a national and regional level.

Workshop participants also had the opportunity to attend the International Patient Safety Conference held by the Health Information & Quality Authority in Ireland in conjunction with the World Alliance for Patient Safety.
HIQA Patient Safety Conference, September 2007

The first day of the workshop was for the patient participants only, and was an opportunity for them to share their personal experiences of error and harm. The power of the patient experience was evident and the passion to make a difference was felt by everyone.

The second day gave an opportunity for the patients to reflect on their experiences and learning and share that with policymakers and health professionals from their own countries. The opportunities and challenges for patient engagement in patient safety were discussed across the different areas of the region and the group voiced their hopes for the future of healthcare. The meaning of patient engagement in safety, the opportunities to contribute to the other areas of the World Alliance for Patient Safety, regional and national partnerships and the building of a strong regional network were all considered.

Participants created action plans for developing their work on their return home. Some of the key issues were around:

• the need for patient reporting systems

• working in partnership to create a more open and honest safety culture

• raising awareness of patient safety as an issue

• educating patients and health care professionals in order to strengthen the relationship and communication process