Spain 2023: Laura Fernandez | BE-SAFE Project

Delegate: Laura Fernandez

Affiliation: BE-SAFE Project

Short Bio:

Activity: The Horizon program of the European Commission funded the initiative of BE-SAFE project with the aim of having a comprehensive understanding of the use of sleeping pills in Europe, from different views, but also developing and implementing an evidence-based and patient-centered intervention that helps reduce the use of BEnzodiazepines and sedative-hypnotics and improving the SAFEty and quality of patient care. The project is addressing gaps in knowledge and practice related to the reduction of medications used to address sleep problems in Europe. To achieve promoting this interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach, the project involves experts, patients and caregivers.

As advocated by World Sleep Day, “sleep is essential for health”, and it is vital to involve all stakeholders in the development and implementation of actions that lead to an improvement in the quality of sleep for the seniors. Precisely, to succeed in this purpose, BE-SAFE has officially constituted the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) on February 17 in Barcelona (Spain). The PAC was born as a bridge between patients, caregivers, health professionals, the BE-SAFE consortium, and the Advisory Board of experts and the general public. For this purpose, six local PACs were also previously constituted (Belgium, Spain, Norway, Greece, Switzerland and Poland).

The International PAC is made up of patients, informal caregivers, users and organizations of the older people, who advise on all aspects of the project. Its aim is to ensure a true and equitable representation of the voice of patients and caregivers within the BE-SAFE project, and to gather opinions, preferences, needs and expectations of older people who use sleep pills, thus improving their safety and care.

Among the research activities that the PAC will contribute is a survey among patients, caregivers and health professionals, to identify barriers and facilitators. Based on these results, the BE-SAFE project will develop a method to reduce the use of these medicines. In addition, the PAC will give its views for the development of recommendations and educational materials aimed at patients and caregivers. In the advanced phase of the project, the six countries will test this approach in a clinical trial . Finally, the PAC will sum its knowledge and experiences throughout the process of creating those tools which will contribute to spreading the best practices, but also promote the implementation of the resulting method in other European health systems.

BE-SAFE in a nutshell
The BE-SAFE project is targeting patient safety by addressing knowledge and practice gaps related to the reduction of medicines used for sleep difficulties in Europe. Experts and patients will be involved to promote an interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial approach. BE-SAFE is a European research project funded by the European Commission Horizon programme under the work programme HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CARE-05-01: Enhancing quality of care and patient safety) and by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) (contract No 22.00116). The project duration will be from 2022 to 2027.

Location: Barcelona

Date of Activity: 02/17/2023

Submitted by: Laura Fernandez