Patients at the heart of BE-SAFE to develop best practices to reduce sleeping pills use

September 14th-15th, 2022

BE-SAFE project contributes to reduce sleeping medicine use in Europe. But, how? It will improve patient safety and practice gaps.

The European Union's HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CARE-05-01: Enhancing quality of care and patient safety announced the launched of the BE-SAFE Project. The project was officially kick off on 14-15 September 2022 in Tervuren, Brussels, Belgium.


Sleeping pills could have negative effects, especially in older adults. For example in daytime sleepiness, memory loss and falls. It is an urgent priority to find ways to reduce the use of these medicines (as benzodiazepine and sedative hypnotics, BSHs) to improve patient safety in Europe. However, previous initiatives did not lead to full-scale improvements.


New opportunities are opening up with the start of the BE-SAFE project. European Commission Horizon programme funded this initiative. Its goal is to get a comprehensive understanding of sleeping pills use in Europe from different views. It will develop a method to reduce sleep pills use that is the most likely to succeed. BE-SAFE will gather a team of experts to develop recommendations and best practices. Patients will be at the heart of BE-SAFE. Because of this, a Patient Partnership Advisory Council with patients, informal carers and patient organisations will advise on all aspects of the project.


To achieve its aims BE-SAFE project will develop research activities as a survey among patients, informal carers and healthcare professionals to identify barriers and enablers. From these results, the BE-SAFE team will develop a method to reduce the use of these medicines. In addition, it will create recommendations and educational materials addressed to patients and caregivers. Six countries will tested this approach in a trial. In fact, thanks to these studies it will foster country-specific recommendations to increase the chance of success of this initiative. Finally, BE-SAFE will develop a toolkit to disseminate best practices to allow other European healthcare systems to implement this method in older patients.


BE-SAFE is focusing on patients’ needs, values and preferences approach. It will provide useful resources to increase patient safety and reduce sleep pills use throughout the diverse European healthcare landscape and targets (patients, healthcare professionals and systems, but also policymakers).


Press contact

Prof. Anne Spinewine

Laura Fernández Maldonado

Project coordinator
Université catholique de Louvain, Bruxelles, Belgium

Communication Coordinator
Fundació Salut I Envelliment, Barcelona, Spain


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