One year on from its launch, the European Society of Radiology's Patient Advisory Group for Medical Imaging
(PAGMI) has already contributed much to the work of the society. The Group was launched by the ESR and the European Patient's Forum at the European Congress of Radiology in 2013.
"Our aim is to positively influence advances in the field of medical imaging to the benefit of European patients. We work to improve knowledge of patients about imaging procedures, liaise with patient groups on policy issues of common interest, involve patient representatives in strategic decisions regarding medical imaging and ensure that a patient-centred, human approach is embedded in the work of the ESR", said Nicola Bedlington, chairperson of PAGMI. She welcomec the initiative as an opportunity to work together to inject a stronger patient perspective into the ESR.
Ms. Bedlington is the executive director of the European Patients' Forum. Wthin PAGMI, she works with vice-chairman, Professor Lorenzo Derchi from Italy, who also serves as chairman of the ESR Communication and External Affairs Committee. The new body is also supported by five European umbrella patient organisations: European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the
European Federation of Crohn’s Ulcerative Colitis Association (EFCCA) , European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP), European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) and Europa Uomo (European Prostate Cancer Coalition).
In 2013, PAGMI contributed to the International Day of Radiology, an initiative of the ESR, the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology. The day aims to raise public awareness on the benefits from imaging. Lung imaging was the theme in 2013, and brain imaging will be the focus in 2014. PAGMI suggested brain, as 2014 is the European Year of the Brain. The Group has also promoted the ESR's patient information website
Other activities include the Group's collaboration with other ESR Committees such as the Autit and Standards Subcommittee, as well as cooperation on European political dossiers of common interest. The ESR is supporting the European Patients' Forum's European Parliament election campaign. At ECR 2014 patient representatives are participating in three sessions - on patient-centred radiology, social media, and good and bad radiation. For next year's congress they are planning a joint session on doctor-patient communication.
For more information about the EPF European election campaign, see HealthManagement Vol. 14 (1) 2014
with an article "Patients vote for a healthier Europe" by Anders Olauson