The European Commission launched on 25 March 2008 an eight week public consultation on patient safety. The results of this will help in the development of the Commission’s proposal for on general patient safety issues planned for the end of 2008. That proposal will address the important issue of patient safety throughout the European Union (EU) and will include a detailed first pillar, addressing healthcare-associated infections (HCAI), on which separate public consultations have already been held.