“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Margaret Dole
Banner image (photo of Holyrood Parliament Banner image (photo of a delegate in a suit listening intently at a conference)


Red card for 'greenest' government
The government is failing to reduce air pollution, protect biodiversity and prevent flooding, a cross-party body of MPs says. More
Scots NHS 'faces £400m funding gap'
Confidential papers passed to the BBC suggest a radical cost-saving plan will be implemented in the Scottish NHS after the referendum. More
Passport delay victims 'need refund'
Passport applicants who paid £30 extra to avoid missing travel because of processing delays should get refunds, MPs say. More

Improving Healthcare Standards in Europe: Towards an Effective Framework on Patient Safety

Key Speakers

Mrs. Katja Neubauer, Team Leader, Health Strategy and Health Systems, DG SANCO – Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission
Mr. Paul De Raeve, General Secretary, European Federation of Nurses Associations
Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin, Registrar and Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Society, Ireland
Prof. Dr. Johan Kips, President, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium
Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola MD, President of the European Medical Association

In 2005, the Luxembourg Declaration on Patient Safety was adopted in order to recognise that "access to high quality healthcare is a key human right valued by the EU and the continuous improvement of the quality of care is a key objective both for patient safety and for efficient management of health systems".

Although adverse events can take place in all settings where healthcare is delivered, recent studies have highlighted that, in an increasing number of countries, healthcare errors continue to occur in around 10% of hospitalisations. Acknowledging the need to raise the issue of patient safety higher on the EU policy agenda, the European Commission has recently taken steps to seek to develop a more effective EU-wide framework to improve standards in health services and reduce the risk of harm resulting from surgical procedures and general hospital visits.

This special International Symposium provides a timely opportunity for healthcare practitioners and stakeholders across Europe to explore solutions framed around the two priorities enshrined in the Council Recommendation on patient safety from 2009:

  • Embedding patient safety as a priority issue in health policies and programmes at national as well as at regional and local levels
  • Supporting the development of safer and user-friendly systems, processes and tools, including the use of information and communication technology

The Centre for Parliamentary Studies welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate, providing input and recommendations to the decision makers at EU level.


9:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

Prof. Dr. Johan Kips, President, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium (confirmed)
10:15 Session One:
New Approaches to Raising Awareness of Patient Safety in Europe
  • National and Cross Border Challenges
  • Existing Instruments and Initiatives in Europe – Sharing Good Practices
  • Hospital vs. Non-Hospital Care – Towards a Standardised Approach
  • Different Types of Care – Chronic, Mental and Highly Specialised – and its Influence on Patient Safety in National and Cross-Border Context
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Actions
Mrs. Katja Neubauer, Team Leader, Health Strategy and Health Systems, DG SANCO – Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission (confirmed)
Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola MD, President of the European Medical Association (tbc)
10:45 First Round of Discussions
11:25 Morning Coffee Break
11:45 Session Two:
Healthcare Safety and Quality in a Global Context
  • What Can We Learn from Other Countries and Sectors When It Comes to Patient Safety?
  • Existing Standards in the Field of Patient Safety and Quality in Healthcare
  • Sharing Good Practices
  • Recommendations for Future Actions
Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin, Registrar and Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Society, Ireland (confirmed)
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:45 Session Three:
Towards an EU Framework on Licensing – E-Health and Standards for Healthcare Professionals in Europe
  • Healthcare in the 21st Century – New Realities and New Challenges
  • Positive and Negative Consequences from Using an E-Health Approach
  • Current Standards for Health Professionals – Existing Entry Rules of the EU Health System
  • Recognition of Qualifications – Current and Future Challenges
Dr. Philippe Swennen, Project Manager – International Cooperation, Association International de la Mutualité, Brussels (confirmed)
13:55 Third Round of Discussion
14:25 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:55 Session Four: Case Study
E-Prescriptions – Health, Social and Economic Consequences for Europe

Mr. Paul De Raeve, General Secretary, European Federation of Nurses Associations, Brussels (confirmed)
15:10 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:40 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
15:50 Networking Reception and Refreshments

Who Should Attend?

  • Health Professionals
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Local, Regional & National Public Health Authorities
  • Hospitals
  • Associations of Hospital Managers
  • National Governmental Organisations
  • Local Governmental Organisations
  • Health Insurers
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Pharmaceutical Associations
  • Pharmaceutical Research & Development Bodies
  • Social Services
  • Patient Rights NGOs
  • Patient Safety Associations
  • Health Promotion Advisers
  • Medical Associations
  • Trade Unions
  • Employers organisations
  • Public Health Unions
  • Health Research Institutes
  • International Centres for Health Protection
  • Health Networks
  • Charitable Foundations
  • Associations of Schools of Public Health
  • Health Forums
  • Natural Medicine Associations
  • Health NGOs
  • Hospital Pharmacists Associations
  • Legal Health Professionals
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Health Syndicate Associations
  • National Health Unions
  • Medical Associations
  • National and International Medical Chambers
  • Doctors
  • Health and Safety Advisers
  • National and Regional Physicians Associations
  • Health Networks
  • National Chambers of Pharmacists
  • Quality and Safety in Health Associations
  • Research Institutes for Public Health
  • Faculties of Public Health
26th October 2010
Silken Hotel, Brussels

how to get to the venue

Register your place

Operating Theatre
“ I want all European patients to feel confident that they receive safe and high quality healthcare. ”
- John Dalli, European Commissioner Responsible for Health and Consumer Policy, May 2010
“ Patient safety is a further key area of concern. 10% of patients admitted to hospital in the UK experience adverse effects from their healthcare, and this problem may well be of a similar scale in other EU countries. A new focus is needed to tackle health threats within and outside the EU. ”
- White Paper, Together for Health: A Strategic Approach for the EU 2008-2013
“ Poor patient safety represents both a severe public health problem and a high economic burden on limited health resources.”

“Patients should be informed and empowered by involving them in the patient safety process. They should be informed of patient safety standards, best practices and/or safety measures in place and on how they can find accessible and comprehensive information on complaints and redress systems.”
“Evidence suggests that Member States are at different levels in the development and implementation of effective and comprehensive patient safety strategies. Therefore, this recommendation intends to create a framework to stimulate policy development and future action in and between Member States to address the key patient safety issues confronting the EU. ”
- European Council Recommendation on Patient Safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections, 2009/C 151/01
“ Patient safety is a fundamental principle of health care … Patient safety improvements demand a complex system-wide effort, involving a wide range of actions in performance improvement, environmental safety & risk management, including infection control, safe use of medicines, equipment safety, safe clinical practice and safe environment of care.”
- World Health Organisation