Patient Safety and Quality of Care

Coherently with HOPE mission to improve the healthcare of citizens throughout Europe and high standards of hospital care, over the years HOPE activities have focused more and more on the the topic of patient safety and quality of care.

Since 2009, HOPE is member of the European Commission’s Patient Safety and Quality of Care Expert Group which assists the Commission in the development of the EU patient safety and quality agenda. The group is composed of representatives of the 28 EU Member States, EFTA countries, European health stakeholders and international organisations.

Quality of care

HOPE first published in 1996 a comparative leaflet “The Quality of Hospital Care in the European Union”. On the basis of an in-depth questionnaire on “Accreditation/certification of Hospitals”, HOPE published in 2000 a report on “Quality of Healthcare/Hospital Activities”.

Patient Safety

HOPE as member of the Expert Group on Patient Safety, was informed that the Commission has decided to discontinue the expert group. The Commission has instead set up a new mechanism, the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (the Steering Group on Promotion and Prevention in short), to maximise joint efforts with the EU Member States for reaching the nine voluntary targets of the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 2025 and meeting Sustainable Development Goal which aims to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030.

Study tours

On 10 and 11 April 2018, HOPE organised a study tour in Copenhagen (Denmark) to present the Danish way in quality and health care to senior healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers. The HOPE Study Tour provided the participant with an understanding of the current work and visions for changes in Denmark.

In 2017, HOPE organised in collaboration with the Belgian organisation PAQS ASBL a Study Tour in Brussels on Quality and Safety. PAQS ASBL is a newly created organisation bringing together most healthcare stakeholders in Brussels and Wallonia with the objective of improving quality and safety in healthcare.

In 2015, HOPE UK member organised a study visit for senior healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers on “Assuring quality in the English NHS”. The two-day programme provided delegates with a deeper knowledge of the NHS in England, including how healthcare is purchased and regulated from both a financial, quality and safety perspective and focused on the largest component of the workforce in the NHS: nurses.

More about HOPE study tours

Blame free culture – HOPE Board of Governors – 2006

HOPE Board of Governors adopted in Amsterdam on 21 April 2006, a position paper “Promoting a blame free culture in order to reduce medical injuries”. As mistakes appear in every human activity, there is an opportunity to learn from mistakes and to prevent them. The paper gives some ideas about a patient safety culture and a blame free incident reporting systems. Finally, it concludes with some ideas on what hospital management could do without waiting for new incident reporting systems.

Cardiff conference – 2005

On 23 June 2005, HOPE together with the Welsh NHS Confederation organised in Cardiff an international conference on Patient Safety. The event, part of the HOPE Exchange Programme, gathered over 300 health professionals from 27 countries.

Luxembourg Conference – 2005

In April 2005, HOPE co-organised with other European organisations led by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), a conference on Patient Safety, during the Luxembourg presidency of the European Union. The conference addressed recommendations to the EU institutions and national authorities. The conference, in line with the work of HOPE was concluded by the adoption of the Luxembourg Declaration.

HOPE Exchange Programme

The 2013 and 2014 editions of HOPE Exchange Programme were respectively dedicated to the topics of patient safety and quality of care.
Download the reports compiling the findings of HOPE Exchange Programme’s participants on “Patient Safety in Practice” and on “Quality first! Challenges in the changing hospital and healthcare environment”.
More information about HOPE Exchange Programme.


Quality and Safety Network

Considering the absence of concrete actions carried out by the European Union, HOPE and PAQS (the Platform for Continuous Improvement of Quality of Care and Patient Safety) developed a structured network to share quality and safety best practices between European countries. Supported by HOPE members and their respective networks and by the expertise and resources PAQS holds, the creation in 2019 of a “Quality and Safety network” at European level aims at:

  • Creating/reinforcing links between different organisations working on quality of care and patient safety in Europe;
  • Strengthening the image and visibility of the two organisations;
  • Increasing learning opportunities and share best practices;
  • In the long run, facilitating the implementation of common projects in different European countries.

In 2019, two webinars were organised: the first webinar organised on 11 June on the TeamSTEPPS pilot-project and the second on 10 September on the specific quality audit system from the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV), KAV-Q-Zert.

In 2020, three webinars were organised: the first on 25 February on the IHI Health Improvement Alliance Europe, the second on 23 June on the Medication safety system MedEye and the third on 6 October on the developments of a Regional Strategy for Patient safety improvement.

In 2021, five webinars were organised: the first on 26 January on the National Safety Programme in the Netherlands, the second one on 20 April on “Fifteen years of the Spanish Patient Safety Strategy“, the third one on 15 June on “Portuguese Patient Safety Culture Assessment“, the fourth one on 12 October on quality management system as a basis for patient safety in Estonia and the fifth on 14 December on “Capturing the patients’ voices on patient safety“.

In 2022, four webinars were organised: the first on 29 March on Quality indicators and public reporting in Flanders, the second one on 31 May on Healthcare adverse events in France: third national incidence survey, the third one on 18 October on Critical Incident Reporting Systems in Germany and the fourth one on 13 December on 5 years to save lives: a Belgian breakthrough series collaborative.

EU Projects

The European Union Network for Patient Safety and Quality of Care

European Union Network for Patient Safety

Safety Improvement for Patients in Europe

Methods of Assessing Response to Quality Improvement Strategies

Deepening our understanding of quality improvement in Europe

Managed Outcomes
Operations management and demand-based approaches to healthcare outcomes and cost benefits research

Improving the Continuity of Patient Care through Identification and Implementation of Novel Patient Handover Processes in Europe

European Hospital Benchmarking by Outcomes in Acute Coronary Syndrome Processes

The EUROpean Treatment & Reduction of Acute Coronary Syndromes cost analysis

EURopean wide Innovative Procurement of Health Innovation