European Reference Networks

European Reference NetworksThe European Reference Networks (ERNs) gather doctors and researchers with high expertise in the fields of rare or low-prevalence and complex diseases. They are “virtual networks” that discuss the diagnosis and the best possible treatment for patients from all over Europe. Additionally, the ERNs focus expertise to derive shared clinical guidelines, prioritise research in rare diseases and help provide a standard of education for rare diseases across Europe. Generation of disease registries for rare diseases has also been a focus in ERNs over the early years.

24 ERNs were launched in 2017, involving more than 900 highly specialised healthcare teams, located in more than 300 hospitals in 26 European countries. The objectives of the ERNs are summarised below.

Diagram showing National Health Care Providers in the middle with patients to the left and Specific ERN on the right. Coming off specific ERN are the words Clinical Guidelines, Research and Innovation Knowledge, Generating and Sharing evidence and Training

CEDAM harbours clinicians and scientists that are core to delivering the objectives of multiple ERNs within the domain of CEDAM. Rare diseases research and clinical service provision has fuelled our ability to be recognised as one of the few centres across Europe to be accredited for delivering rare disease services in all aspects of endocrinology (ENDO-ERN), inherited metabolic disorders (MetabERN) and rare bone diseases (ERN-BOND).

European Reference Network Endo-ern logo
European Reference Network Metabern logo
European Reference Network on rare bone diseases logo


ERN-wide secure clinical portal (Clinical Patient Management System; CPMS) for discussing rare and complex clinical problems to ensure inclusive and considered view of rare and complex cases by international experts. The patient does need to travel to derive a rounded clinical opinion and management plan.

Crowd of delegates at the EndoERN General Assembly 2019Delegates at the Endo-ERN General Assembly 2019.