Supporting emerging care economy, empowering caregivers to provide safe care at home


The overall aim of this Action is to facilitate discussion and share scientific knowledge, perspectives, and best practices concerning the prevention of caregivers´ errors occurring at home to implement joint efforts to increase recipients’ safety, and to introduce an open dialogue and discussion among all stakeholders about the consequences of the caregiver errors based on a cross-national collaboration that integrates citizens, end users and different disciplines and approaches.

Research Coordination Objectives

Raising awareness of the impact of errors on caregivers

Conceptualisation of the care errors at home

Capacity-building Objectives


Reasons for Starting BetterCare Action

Isolation of caregivers providing care at home may predispose them to cause avoidable harm, which has a negative impact on the provided healthcare, affects them physically and psychologically, and additionally cause an inadequate manage of risks. Moreover, in most scenarios all the above is experienced by women, who in most cases are recipients’ relatives with a lack of independence in economic terms.

Caring Errors’ existence and experience at home is far more widespread than imagined. This Action will contribute awareness to the current situation, to point out relevant themes around this phenomenon, analysing its impact on patient safety, debating preventative measures and interventions after a care error at home, and gathering potential technological solutions to cope with it.

Legal, ethical, psycho-socio-cultural-economic perspectives will also be included in the debates and analyses. Guidelines and standards that reflect and harmonize the act of care at home are needed. Recipients have to receive the same quality of care in this new home paradigm, or possibly even better, than the care received in residential facilities. It is a citizen duty to join to a discussion where all stakeholders are represented and have a chance to share their needs and beliefs.

The European Council’s recommendations and directives (2009/C 151/01, 2011/24/EU, 2013/36/EU) and the WHO’s guidelines (WHO 2019) have repeatedly stated that patient safety is a core dimension of the quality-of-care provision. From this viewpoint, there are two specific challenges: the design of healthcare systems’ connection to caregivers at home to improve their skills regarding their recipients’ safety and therefore impact them in terms of satisfaction by providing higher quality care, evaluation, and discussion around the cost of unsafety environments and the available technology resources that may benefit all the population regardless of their residential areas. This Action encourages reflection and introduces evidence-based interventions facilitating rethinking educational and ethical issues to achieve recipients’ safety targets at national and international levels

What we pursue?

This Action is already seeing caregivers at home facing a complex care, a significant increase in disruptive technologies usage as tools that improve caregivers’ qualifications, and instruments for the continuous update of their educational needs. Growth of new business opportunities for a sector of the population with lower professional qualifications that can now see a change in their careers, which particularly affects women. Enrichment of bridges between the workers of the healthcare and welfare systems and caregivers, can provide a better care enhancing patient safety environment. There is an evident need of discussion across the countries which contents and areas represent a minimum when considering the safety of home care.

Working Groups


  1. Networking, also involving new members; analysis and results promotion in social media.
  2. Disseminate and assess implementation and sustainability of aimed objectives.


  1. Schedule workshops, International Forums, and Training Schools.
  2. Disseminate reports, guidelines, case studies, training materials, and scientific articles in collaboration with the rest of the WGs.
  3. Invite new collaborators from the COST and non-COST Member countries, citizens’, patients’, caregivers’ associations, and schools of caregivers.
  4.  Monitor and disseminate outcomes and aim at their sustainability beyond the lifetime of the Action.
  5. Promote agreements with entities across Europe for the organisation of workshops, forums, and training schools to minimise cost.


  1. Examine evidence regarding errors at home from all perspectives, gaps and factors causing inequities such as gender biases, and proved interventions to address the phenomenon, providing a clearer understanding of it.
  2. Refine concepts, methodologies, and new targets for research and further develop evidence-based interventions to reduce errors.
  3. Assess feasibility and acceptability of the designed intervention techniques, how they are implemented, and old and new metrics to evaluate the safety of the environment at home.


  1. Map and evaluate existing guidelines, educational materials, and other interventions.
  2. Facilitate stakeholders’ discussions and assess differences between countries.


  1. Explore and discuss feasibility of the designed interventions.
  2. Analyse and debate around the former European safety of care standards at home for care providers.


  1. Facilitate discussions of professionals’ attitudes and skills to address caregiver errors at home phenomenon.
  2. Transfer of the proved interventions implementation and promote best practices in COST and non-COST Member countries.
  3. Pilot proposed interventions (guidelines, checklists) and educational materials and self-learning programmes.
  4. Support caregivers after making errors.


  1. Explore and facilitate discussion of cultural, professional, corporate, educational, and social barriers which intensify caregiver errors’ experience.
  2. Discuss potential alternatives to overcome these barriers by analysing ethic aspects and attitudes considering national contexts, characters, and traditions.
  3. Encourage business opportunities in the care economy for women in the most vulnerable situations by turning them into experts in safe care at home.


  1. Promote debate and exchange of experiences concerning the national and international strategies for caring for care providers, as well as examine their impact on the caregivers at home phenomenon, developing activities and programs for future collaborations once this Action ends.
  2. Promote the participation of all stakeholders (patients, associations, family members) in debates around status of care providers.