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EU Health Policy Platform: Closing of 2018 Thematic Networks - What's next?

Vittoria Carraro, Anca Pop – SIP Thematic Network

EU Health Policy Platform: Closing of 2018 Thematic Networks – What´s next?

On 31 January, the EU Health Policy Platform (EHP) hosted the closure webinar “Thematic Networks 2018 – Lessons learned and next steps”. The objective of the webinar was to discuss challenges and lessons learned from the three Thematic Networks (Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments, Societal Impact of Pain, Stimulating fresh fruit and vegetable consumption for healthier European consumers) and to explore next steps. 

After the introductory remarks of Giulio Gallo, Deputy Head of Unit for Country knowledge and scientific committees at the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission (EC), the leaders from the three Thematic Networks and their Commission representatives presented the main goals of the Joint Statement, lessons learned and next steps. 

The Thematic Network on SIP has been presented by Vittoria Carraro (European Pain Federation) and Anca Pop (Pain Alliance Europe). In their presentation, they provided an overview of the work done by the Thematic Network resulting in the Joint Statement endorsed by 96 stakeholders including 11 policy makers. To see the full list of endorsers, have a look at our infographic. 

The key component of the work done by the SIP Thematic Network was facilitating a dialogue with the pain community to understand the advocacy activities and the policies to tackle the societal impact of pain. This work resulted into the Joint Statement identifying four categories for which policy recommendations and commitments have been formulated:

  • Indicators – define indicators to measure the societal impact of pain;
  • Research – increase investment in research on the societal impact of pain;
  • Employment – initiate policies addressing the impact of pain on employment;
  • Education - more education of chronic pain to HCPs, patients, policy makers and general public.

The Thematic Network was a huge success for SIP as it allowed us to:

  • Produce evidence-based recommendations with the involvement of new stakeholders outside the SIP platform;
  • Exchange with other participants in the EHP. On this point and considering a growing Platform, SIP suggested the need for a connection among the different parts;
  • Inform the pain community of relevant policy initiatives (e.g., Best Practices Portal) providing them a push to interact with policy;
  • Co-create the policy recommendations with some of the stakeholders beyond the SIP platform.

What are the next steps?

  • To use the framework paper and the policy recommendations to guide the activities of the SIP national platforms and patient organisations;
  • To use the Thematic network as an opportunity to create synergies as per the new collaboration with CHRODIS+;
  • To continue building connections, exchange of information, and seek new opportunities through the SIP stakeholder group;
  • To liaise with policy-makers to build up on our recommendations and commitments for concrete policy action.

All 2018 Thematic Networks decided to continue their collaboration in stakeholder networks inside the EU Health Policy Platform. Thematic Networks 2018 will now close, therefore the European Commission encourages all users to join the new stakeholder networks of their choice to keep on the Joint Statements work! 

The presentation from the webinar is available here and can be downloaded.

More information on the Thematic Network can be found here:

- Video of the first and second webinar

- Current version of Joint Statement and Framing Paper

- Feedback from Ingrid Keller and John F. Ryan about SIP as part of the TN programm

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