Regulating patient safety in the European Union: realistic aspiration or unattainable goal?
Patient safety is an issue which has been the source of much concern over recent years, both at domestic and international level. In the UK a report of an expert group chaired by the Chief Medical Offi cer’s ‘An Organisation with a Memory’ in 2000 highlighted how patient safety was a serious concern. 1 It has been suggested that in the European Union (EU) itself somewhere between 8 and 12 per cent of patients suffer adverse effects while receiving healthcare. 2 It is thus unsurprising that the EU has become increasingly concerned with issues of patient safety.