The EQuiP project on PECC-WE (Patient Empowerment in Chronic Conditions - WONCA Europe) aims to improve the quality of patient care by developing evidence based education and training for European GPs and Practice Nurses so that they can effectively and efficiently empower patients to improve their own self management of chronic conditions (non-communicable disease) in the context of general practice/primary care.

Chronic diseases have been recognised by the World Health Organisation as the major cause of death (60%) and disability (almost 50%) worldwide, and are predicted to rise to 73% and 60% respectively by 2020.  The complexity of health care for chronic non-communicable disease is also increasing; associated with several factors including ageing populations, multiple concurrent chronic conditions (multi-morbidity) and preventable co-morbidities. General practice faces increasing challenges in the management of complex multi-morbidity while working for better patient outcomes. It is acknowledged that these increasing demands and associated rising costs on health care systems are not sustainable.

Patient empowerment was adopted as the 12th Characteristic of European General Practice by Wonca Europe in September 2011. In effect, this means that patient self management is recognised as being a specific core characteristic of general practice. EQuiPs proposal combines their remit of advancing the quality and safety of patient care in European General Practice with the need to prioritise and promote patients’ active involvement in their own healthcare.

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