European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: EONS Safety Manifesto - Addressing Occupational and Patient Safety in Europe

The European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) launched the EONS Safety Manifesto during European Cancer Nursing Day 2019 which was held this year in Prague, Czech Republic on May 18. ECND it is all about recognising and celebrating the positive impact that cancer nurses have on the quality of cancer care across Europe and focuses on a different theme each year. Our theme this year was SAFETY for cancer patients and for nurses. A series of activities took place to mark ECND2019 across Europe, including the launch of the EONS Safety Manifesto, all under the hashtag: #ECND19Go4Safety.

Our EONS Safety Manifesto, launched and endorsed by many cancer organisations and stakeholders on 18 March, gives key recommendations to healthcare professionals to:

  1. Provide information to patients & their significant others and encourage them to take an active part in their care.
  2. Avoid direct contact with cytotoxic and radiation drugs when planning pregnancy or during pregnancy.
  3. Always follow safety precautions; use personal protective equipment.
  4. Always speak up and question if something is, or appears to be wrong.

According to the WHO (2018), approximately 1 in 10 hospitalised patients experience harm and around half of those incidents could have been prevented. Unsafe handling of medication is both costly and causes harm to our patients; around 15% of health care spending is wasted on adverse events. At the same time, we must remember that healthcare staff are also at risk from the toxicities related to cancer treatment. How can we ensure safety for both staff and patients?

Read the full EONS Safety Manifesto here.

The Manifesto sets out just some of the ways in which cancer nurses can contribute strongly to achieving a safety culture which will reduce the risks for patients, for themselves and for other colleagues in the multi-professional team. However, although safety is the responsibility of us all, those who have the power to effect change in cancer treatment systems and protocols must step up too: organisations need to support their cancer nurses and focus more on both patient and occupational safety, allowing the time and investment required. We hope the recommendations and objectives contained in the EONS Safety Manifesto will inspire us all to make sure we give safety the priority it deserves.



The European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) is a pan-European organisation dedicated to the support and development of cancer nurses.

Further information: 
Twitter: @cancernurseEU #ECND19Go4Safety #EONSGo4SafetyManifesto



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