The consultation was aimed at seeking the opinion of civil society on:

  • Whether patient safety measures included in the Recommendation 2009 [1] have been implemented and are contributing to improving patient safety in the EU;
  • Which areas of patient safety are not covered by the Recommendation and should be;
  • What should be done at EU level on patient safety beyond the Recommendation;
  • Whether quality of healthcare should be given more importance in future EU activities.

In its response, EPHA emphasises that the economic crisis has highly impacted the public health sector. Budget cuts and financial constraints are barriers that prevent the 2009 Recommendation to be fully implemented, which is something EPHA cannot accept. Providing necessary resources (human, financial and technological) in order to ensure high quality and effective healthcare is essential.

In addition, EPHA advocates for further and better controlled use of eHealth and mHealth, as these are solutions which can benefit patient safety. In this framework, data protection rules must also be defined in a clear and unambiguous way.

EPHA also invites the Commission to look more closely at health professionals, in terms of their well-being, as well as their education and training on patient safety, as they are the people who provide frontline care. In particular, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of the health workforce should not be endangered by time constraints.

Classifying and measuring patient safety at Community level was an element raised in the 2009 Recommendation. EPHA strongly encourages all initiatives that deepen the harmonisation of healthcare classifications and improve data collection systems. As regards patients, EPHA stresses that their voices must be heard and that they must be treated with respect and dignity, which includes access to appropriate nutrition and hydration.

Finally, addressing health threats is essential. From EPHA’s perspective, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) must be taken seriously. Moreover, disregarding good quality mental healthcare and long-term care can undermine the health of all people living in Europe.

EPHA related articles


[1] 2009/C 151/01 Council Recommendation of 9 June 2009 on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections,

Last modified on May 26 2014.