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Eurobarometer on patient safety: almost 50% of all Europeans responding to an Eurobarometer survey on patient safety fear they could be harmed by healthcare. According to the report published, over 25% of those surveyed claimed that they or a member of their family had experienced harm in a healthcare setting. Many of these events go unreported and one third of respondents ignored which organisation was responsible for patient safety in their country.

Action to improve patient safety at European level was stepped up last year through better EU coordination, more reporting of incidents, increased patient involvement and training of staff. The publication of the survey coincides with European Patients Rights Day which is held on 18th April each year with events taking place around Europe to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding the rights of patients. It is organised by the Active Citizenship Network, an NGO which encourages people to become more involved in policy making through citizens’ organisations around Europe. The Commission is working with Member States to implement the patient safety recommendation, adopted by the EU Health Ministers in June 2009. The Recommendation is one of the initiatives under the Europe for Patients campaign. Full Report and Summary available here.

More information on the European Commission’s work on Patient Safety and the Council Recommendation can be found in this link.

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