09 March 2017
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European family doctors launch 'The Dublin Declaration' on patient safety and demand adequate resources for general practice

A Dublin conference of general practitioners from 30 European countries has agreed a call for action to improve safety in healthcare for patients and to fight for adequate resources in general practice to deliver safer better healthcare across Europe.

The two-day EQuiP Conference on Patient Safety, hosted by the Irish College of General Practitioners, issued 'The Dublin Declaration' calling on the 44 member organisations of Wonca Europe to highlight patient safety issues and to demand adequate resources in general practice to deliver better safer healthcare.

WONCA (World Organisation of National Colleges and Academies for Family Practice) is a global agency including 300,000 GPs, Wonca Europe's region includes over 80,000 GPs and EQuiP is the WONCA Europe network organisation for quality and safety in general practice / family medicine.

Patient safety was the theme of the two-day conference held on 3rd and 4th March in Dun Laoghaire. Full details of the conference can be found at www.icgp.ie/equip.

The Dublin Declaration,supported by the ICGP, EQuiP and WONCA, calls upon all Wonca Europe member organisations to:

  1. Acknowledge the unique context of general practice within the greater health system
  2. Engage with patients
  3. Encourage collaboration between governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders for further development of safety initiatives to protect patients and health professionals from harm
  4. Fight for adequate resources in general practice to deliver better safer healthcare
  5. Reaffirm the commitment of WONCA Europe to support and advise decision makers in line with WHO Technical Series on Safer Primary Care
  6. Address the lack of research and measurement of safety in primary care
  7. Emphasise the importance of collaboration on integrating safety in medical education and training curricula and continuous professional development

The Conference included many studies from abroad, and in Ireland, where individual GPs, practices and departments of family practice took concrete actions to reduce patient risk and improve quality of care.

"Safety is not an impersonal series of metrics in management,' observed Anna Stavdal, President of WONCA, "it is an ethical choice of crucial importance every day for doctors and the people who come to them for personal care."

Dr Andrée Rochfort, Wexford, GP and Secretary of EQuiP, who was the Irish organiser of this international conference said: "The Dublin Declaration puts patient safety and fighting for adequate resources for safer healthcare at the heart of the work of the 44 member organisations who were at the EQuiP conference. The Declaration is the cornerstone of the 2017 conference."

She added, "The Declaration shows that adequate resourcing of general practice is not just an issue for us here in Ireland but is of central importance across Europe."

Click here for the Dublin Declaration

Twitter: #EQUIPDublin2017


Aileen O'Meara
ICGP Communications Consultant
media@icgp.ie / 01 5175311 / 087 2239830