Global Patients Congress 16 -18 April 2020 Postponed

Friday, 13 March 2020

Since January 2020, the Board of Trustees and the GPC 2020 Programme Committee has been closely monitoring the health and travel advice issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England, Chief Medical Officer Scotland and the European Commission on the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. 

Yesterday, 11 March 2020, the Board heard the WHO Director General’s briefing. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic. As a non-State Actor in official relationship with WHO, IAPO is obliged to follow the WHO evidence-base and guidelines, and act in a proportionate manner. This week the Board also heard evidence from the UK Chief Medical Officers of England and Scotland during their Cabinet Office Briefing to the UK Parliament. As Edinburgh Scotland is the host city, the Board has to abide by Public Health England and Scotland guidance. 

In view of all the evidence and advice received by the Board, and having undertaken our own risk assessment, the Board has now made the most appropriate and proportionate decision to postpone the Global Patients Congress 2020 to later this year when we have received an all clear to host the event from the WHO and UK Public Health.

Holding a Global Patients’ Congress 2020 event under current circumstances would not serve one of the main objectives of the Board to protect the health and wellbeing of our delegates by ensuring that they arrive, stay, participate and then return back home safely to their families, taking home only good experiences and happy memories. 

Thank you for understanding. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via