Important legal notice
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Health - Taking the temperature of European healthcare
“To bring international researchers together to improve patient safety.”

The problem

We expect to receive high-quality care in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, and hope to get better. However, research reveals that from 4% to 10% of patients suffer some avoidable harm or adverse event while in medical care. Infections, surgical errors, reactions to drugs and simple falls are a few examples. To tackle this dimension of quality in healthcare, research is needed to define the processes and circumstances leading to these events, and to assess and monitor clinical and policy interventions to address them. This is a new area of research in Europe, and mobilising understanding and capacity to respond is urgent.

Patient Safety 2007   European conference on patient safety research


There will be a major international conference entitled ‘Patient safety research: shaping the European agenda’, in Porto, Portugal, on 24-26 September 2007. It is organised in association with the Portuguese Ministry of Health during the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union.

The conference will provide a scientific forum to:

  • Describe current research in patient safety and related fields
  • Demonstrate to policy-makers where support for research to inform policy is needed
  • Build proposals for future research to address gaps in the evidence base
  • Develop a Europe-wide research agenda and approach to funding

The conference will promote better coordination of international collaboration to support future research and action. 

Contribution to policy development:

  • The conference supports the Commission’s Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General’s objective to develop actions on patient safety, and the World Health Organisation’s World Alliance for Patient Safety programme.
  • It will identify priorities for promoting patient safety research by policy-makers and the coordination of funding for research programmes.
  • It will identify issues in patient safety practice, and provide baseline knowledge for the development of European research and policy in this field.

Project deliverables

  • Three meetings and a report of the Consortium management team – from October 2006
  • Engagement of scientists and coordination of publications – October 2006-March 2008
  • Preparation and distribution of conference programme – October 2006-September 2007
  • Patient Safety Research Conference in Portugal – September 2007


  • Conference website – from August 2006
  • The conference results will be available to Ministries of Health of the EU member and associated states through the High Level Group on Health Services and Medical Care – end of project
  • The World Alliance for Patient Safety will support continuing dissemination – from September 2007
  • Dissemination of academic materials through formal publication channels – as required

Technical information

Project acronym: Patient Safety 2007
Project’s official full title: Patient Safety: Research into Practice
Research priority: Health determinants and the provision of high quality and sustainable health care services and pension systems (in particular in the context of ageing and demographic change)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044135
Start date: September 2006
Kick off meeting: October 2006
Completion date: February 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Jan Paehler,

Name: Faculty of Public Health of the UK Royal Colleges of Physicians
Abbreviated name: Faculty
Address: 4 St Andrews Place, London, NW1 4LB
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7935 0243
Fax: +44 (0)20 7224 6973


Name: University College London
Abbreviated name: UCL
Country: United Kingdom

Name: WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety
Abbreviated name: WHO World Alliance
Country: Switzerland