World Health Organization Patient Safety Programme

In October 2004 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety dedicated to “bringing significant benefits to patients in countries rich and poor, developed and developing, in all corners of the globe.” The Alliance was established in response to Resolution WHA55.18, approved by WHO’s 55th World Health Assembly in May 2002, which urged member states to pay the closest possible attention to patient safety and establish science-based systems for improving safety and the quality of care. The resolution reflects and advances various calls to action to make patient safety a public health priority for events that have taken place in the past as well as visioning a healthcare system of the 21st Century that is systems-based and patient-centered.

Patients for Patient Safety, a core component of the WHO Patient Safety Programme, is designed to ensure that the perspective of patients and families, consumers and citizens – whichever term resonates best – in both developed and developing countries is included in shaping patient safety activities.

Each patient and lay caretaker brings a unique perspective, critique and recommendation to the performance of the healthcare system and how if can be improved. Unless patients are acknowledged and included as full partners in reform dialogue it is difficult to understand how a true picture of health system performance can be understood, improved and measured. From the beginning, the role of real patients and their family caregivers was deemed to be a crucial component of the World Alliance. A first step was the invitation made to CAPS Co-founder and President, Susan E. Sheridan, an American whose family has experienced the impact of medical error, to lead the PFPS Steering Committee.

Under the aegis of the World Alliance, CAPS leaders were actively engaged in the development of the PFPS statement of case and proposed an international event to recruit and convene consumer champions who can contribute to better, safer healthcare systems world-wide

The Patients for Patient Safety went into action in December 2005 in London with a formational workshop to develop the London Declaration , a vision statement and pledge of partnership. London workshop participants also outlined a p, a strategic plan to hold similar workshops around the globe to recruit and engage a worldwide cadre of Patients for Patient Safety Champions