European Patients Forum EPF

The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) currently represents 50 member patient organisations operating at European and national level, and is the key interlocutor with the European Institutions to integrate a patient perspective in the healthcare debate. Through its EU wide membership, its secretariat and its effective governance structure, EPF is capable of very efficient programme management, knowledge building and dissemination.

EPF has a strong expertise in ensuring that patient needs, concerns and expectations are effectively reflected in policy and projects which have an impact on the patient community, particularly through the transparent and meaningful involvement of patients in health-related policy making and projects. Since its establishment, EPF has been promoting the early involvement of patients as “experts” in the design, implementation and evaluation of healthrelated projects, particularly in areas such as Health Technology Assessment, eHealth and telehealth.

eHealth and telemedicine are key strategic priorities for EPF, as reflected in EPF Strategic Plan and Annual Workplan 2011. EPF contributes to the eHealth Stakeholders Group, liaises with OECD on eHealth issues, and has actively participated in the last 3 Annual eHealth Ministerial Conferences. EPF provided consistent input to EC for the Telemedicine Communication and wrote an editorial for the EU Health Portal Newsletter.

EPF has extensive experience in projects: it was the leader of the project VALUE+ (PHP – Public Health Programme 2008/2009) where an effective co-operation was established thanks to EPF’s capacity to guide the work of the Steering Group and maintain good internal communication. EPF is currently leading the telehealth project “Chain of Trust” (PHP 2011/2012) looking at assessing and raising awareness of user perspective of telehealth.

Moreover EPF is/has been an associate partner in RESPECT (FP7), Interquality (FP7), CALLIOPE (ICT PSP) ), EUnetHTA (PHP), and EuNetPas (PHP), RENEWING HEALTH (ICT PSP), eHealth Governance Initiative and leads on specific work in these projects. With a view to promoting patient involvement primarily, albeit not exclusively, in health-related project, EPF has developed the so-called “Value+ Model of Meaningful Patient Involvement” and produced a number of key publications targeting three groups, i.e. patients/patient organisations, project leaders/coordinators/promoters, and policy makers on how to apply effectively involve patients in health projects, including research projects, as well as in policy making process.