UEMS EBA Patient Safety Standing Committee

Chairpersons: Guttorm Brattebø (Norway); David Whitaker (UK) 

This standing committee covers aspects of patient safety related to the work of Anaesthesiologists including:

- Safe medication practices
- Safe airway management
- Equipment safety
- Minimum standards for monitoring
- Safe delivery of anaesthesia
- Regional Anaesthesia
- Resuscitation

World Patient Safety Day 17th September 2023.

The European Board of Anaesthesiology wishes to give its wholehearted support to the WHO World Patient Safety Day on 17th September 2023.

This year World Patient Safety Day is dedicated to the theme “Engaging patients for patient safety” and the slogan “Elevate the voice of patients!”. The day aims to influence stakeholders including patients, families, policy makers, health care leaders, health workers and patient organizations to work collaboratively towards co-designing health care policies and safety interventions that truly reflect the needs and preferences of patients, ultimately enhancing healthcare safety globally.

The European Board of Anaesthesiology particularly wishes to encourage all anaesthesiologists to involve themselves with national and local initiatives developing this Patient Engagement theme.

The 2010 Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology stated that:

Patients have a right to expect to be safe and protected from harm during their medical care and anaesthesiology has a key role to play improving patient safety perioperatively. To this end we fully endorse the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia.

Patients have an important role to play in their safe care which they should be educated about and given opportunities to provide feedback to further improve the process for others.

This remains a key issue as users of the healthcare system with first-hand experience of the entire patient journey, the perspectives of patients, families and caregivers are invaluable in improving patient safety. The impact of meaningful patient engagement is remarkable, with studies showing a potential reduction in the burden of harm by up to 15%, saving countless lives and billions of euros each year.

David Whitaker

Chair of the EBA Patient Safety Standing Committee

Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology. European Board of Anaesthesiology 2010

European Board of Anaesthesiology statement on the criminalisation of medial error.


The European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA) calls for help to be given to patients and relatives to avoid being harmed in the future by the criminalisation of medical error.

Therefore, the EBA fully supports and endorses the Anaesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Position Statement on Criminalization of Medical Error and Call for Action to Prevent Patient Harm from Error

Processes like the criminalisation of medical error prevent the identification of the reasons for patients being harmed and worse, stop others finding out how to avoid them. Being able to discover and promulgate the lessons learned from previous medical errors will always be in the best interests of patients and their families.

Additionally, most nations have professional bodies for the independent investigation of aircraft, rail and maritime incidents, but currently only two in Europe (Norway and the UK) have these organisations for investigating medical adverse incidents which cause far more harm and deaths of their countries citizens than all the others combined. Such bodies should be established as soon as possible so that governments can demonstrate their intent to help patients avoid preventable harm and also involve patients’ families wherever possible. 

December 2022


The European Board of Anaesthesiology supports  the #FightFatigue Campaign


The European Board of Anaesthesiology believes it's time for healthcare professions, managers and funders to acknowledge that working at night is not the same as working in the day. For the sake of patient safety, steps must be taken by all parties to manage night working safely. To take this forward the EBA is wholeheartedly supporting the #FightFatigue Campaign which is working hard to address this crucial issue for healthcare staff and patients.

The #Fight Fatigue Campaign has produced many useful resources which are freely available to use (with an acknowledgement)             

More information on ‘Managing Fatigue as part of a Safety Culture’ by Dr Nancy Redfern

Please spread the word and disseminated this valuable material to all involved in healthcare.  You are welcome to translate the infographics into your own language and use them in your own work environment with an acknowledgement of the source.


Please contact for more information.

The European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA) warns against the increased risk of fires during the Covid 19 pandemic (pdf)