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Patient empowerment for a sustainable health system – your examples of best practice needed

The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) is calling for ‘Patient empowerment for a sustainable health system’ and is looking for examples of effective patient empowerment. EPF believes that empowering patients leads to better health outcomes, better patient satisfaction and services that are designed to meet the real needs of patients – a truly patient-centric approach. But they need evidence to show it works. 

What is the Patient Empowerment campaign?

The Brussels-based European Patients’ Forum (EPF) has launched a campaign on Patient Empowerment. With this campaign, EPF aims to help European policy-makers and stakeholders understand the value of patient empowerment from the patient perspective.

EPF is organising roundtable discussions with MEPs at the European Parliament and will release a Charter of Patient Empowerment and a multi-stakeholder Roadmap for Action in November 2015. The whole campaign will culminate with an exhibition at the European Parliament in June 2016.

EPF hopes that the campaign will contribute to the development of a specific strategy on patient empowerment that the EU Directorate-General for Health and Food safety (DG Santé) can adopt.

What is the Patient Empowerment?

Patient empowerment is “a process that helps people gain control over their own lives and increases their capacity to act on issues that they themselves define as important” and has 5 strands:

  • Education: patients can make informed decisions about their health if they are able to access all the relevant information, in an easily understandable format.
  • Expertise: patients self-manage their condition every day so they have a unique expertise on healthcare which needs to be supported.
  • Equality: patients need support to become equal partners with health professionals in the management of their condition.
  • Experience: individual patients work with patient organisations to represent them, and channel their experience and collective voice.
  • Engagement: patients need to be involved in designing more effective healthcare for all, and in research to deliver new and better treatments and services 

What can AMRC charities do to help?

As an associate member of EPF, AMRC has been asked to bring together contributions from our member charities highlighting best practices of patient empowerment. We know that our charities are leading the way in engaging with patients, and are looking for examples of:

  • Education – where charities help patients to understand about treatment options;
  • Experience – where charities work directly with patients affected with the condition to understand the experiences and create a collective voice;
  • Engagement – where charities involve patients in the design of research, or decision making about which research is funded.

We would love to hear back from you, as this is a great opportunity for you to have your voice heard and showcase your best practices on patient empowerment.

For more information visit the campaign’s website, follow the campaign on Twitter: #PatientsprescribE or contact policy@eu-patient.eu. To submit best practices evidence, please write to Silvia Bortoli, AMRC public affairs officer, at s.bortoli@amrc.org.uk

Tags: Europe, Patients