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EHLTF on the EPF Congress 2019

Our MC members Jenny Björk and Raymond van Rykel were from 12th to 14th November 2019 to Brussels to the EPF Congress 2019.

The European Patients’ Platform (EPF) is an  umbrella organization that works with patients’ groups in public health and health advocacy across Europe.
EPF’s vision is that all patients with chronic disease in Europe have access to high-quality – patient-centered health and related care.
EPF helps to empower patients’ organizations through educational seminars, policy initiatives and projects but also coordinate best practice exchanges between patient and organizations at National and  European levels.


EPF have six core strategic goals:

1. To promote patient access and their caregivers to information and education so that they can make informed choices about their health.

2. Access to and quality of health care to contribute to improvements in health systems providing equitable access to sustainable and high-quality health care designed and delivered to meet the Needs of patients and caregivers at all levels of care, embracing innovation in all its forms.

3. Involvement of patients to develop meaningful patient involvement in the development and implementation of health-related policies, programs and projects in the EU.

4. EMPOWERING patients to promote the development and implementation of policies, strategies and healthcare services that enable the patient to be involved in decision-making and management of their state based on their Preferably, Increasing awareness of their rights and responsibilities.

5. Sustainable PATIENT ORGANISATIONS to support the development, growth and capacity of inclusive, effective, sustainable and representative patient organizations and to foster cooperation and synergies between them.

6. NON-Discrimination to promote the development of EU and national policies to combat discrimination faced by patients in health and social care and in areas such as education and employment.

The 1st day started with a few speeches followed by the Grand opening of the plenary session and a keynote presentation about patient involvement – “Presenting the evidence”
and a panel discussion : different perspectives – one vision.

The 2nd  day  we were invited for a keynote presentation: ensuring equity, inclusivity and diversity of the patients’ voice followed by six parallel working sessions as there are :

1. Measuring impact of patient involvement.
2. How the patient perspective can improve healthcare  performance assessment.
3. Patients as partner in research making co-production ‘the new normal’.
4. Designing better healthcare services with patients.
5. How to ensure digital health brings real-life benefits for  patients?
6. Patient safety – how can patients and families help improve it?

We have been  classified in session 5.
Digitalisation in healthcare has the potential to transform patient-centred care. This session on digital health has two main objectives. On the one hand, we will explore the different ways in which “digital” can improve the care of patients (at a systemic, or individual level) and how this can be scaled up. At the same time, we will examine how patient involvement can be embedded in digital health as a driver for change, with the intention of harnessing digital technologies for the benefit of patients and society.
Our premise is that all developments should start from the needs of healthcare users and be co-created with users. This would ensure that technology actually facilitates participatory, person-centred healthcare and leads to better outcomes for patients and better value for society.

Before the Gala diner we followed the keynote presentation: Culture change and leadership.

Day 3 started again in Plenary session : patients and teachers – What can patients teach professionals?

and the keynote presentations : towards working with patients as teachers rather than subjects in undergraduate medical education – where are we today?

The closing plenary : why health systems must start delivering for and with patients.
➜  A step into the future involvement must start delivering for and with patients.

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