On 15 November the European Commission has launched the first report on the recommendation on patient safety. The aim was to evaluate the state of implementation of a number of actions agreed to by the EU’s member states in 2009.
The report is based on the Council Recommendation of 9 June 2009 on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections. The Recommendation consists of two chapters. The first chapter concerning with general patient safety and the second is on the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Most Member States have taken a variety of actions as envisaged by the Recommendation. The report shows that most Member States have embedded patient safety as a priority in public health policies and designated a competent authority responsible for patient safety. However, as demonstrated in the report, more effort is needed towards actions targeting patients, e.g. patient empowerment and health professionals, e.g. more education and training.
The economic and financial crisis has led to financial constraints in most European Union Member States. Because of this, most Member States report that implementation of the general patient safety provisions recommendation has slowed down. However reduced resources should not expose patient safety and quality of care, not only for the sake of the patient but also because evidence shows that healthcare-associated harm has additional costs.
The Commission considered that there are still areas of the recommendation with considerable room for improvement, and has set up priority areas on which future work should focus.
A second progress report will be prepared by the Commission in June 2014, taking into account the mid-term results of the joint action on patient safety and quality of care.
Report from The Commission to the Council - on the basis of Member States’ reports on the implementation of the Council Recommendation (2009/C 151/01) on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections
EPHA related articles: