Improvements in identifying Sepsis

3 Aug 2018, 2:02 p.m.

We were highlighted by NHS England earlier this year as one of the Trusts that has seen the greatest improvements in identifying and treating sepsis.

The Trust, which runs the county’s two acute hospitals, Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal, has been congratulated by NHS England in a letter from their Medical Director for Clinical Effectiveness, Celia Ingham Clark, for their work to improve the care they provide for patients with sepsis.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, however it can be easily treated if caught early. Sepsis could occur as the result of any infection and is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. According to the UK Sepsis Trust, it affects more than 250,000 people every year in the UK.

Since the NHS England sepsis CQUIN* was launched in 2015, Gloucestershire Hospitals has increased assessment for sepsis in the Emergency Departments (A&Es) from 52% to 96% and timely treatment from 49% to 91% in the same period through an ongoing improvement programme.

"Our clinicians identify sepsis at the earliest opportunity and rapidly give patients with symptoms antibiotics in our busy A&E department"

Andrew Seaton

Director of Safety Andrew Seaton explains:

“Over the last few years we have successfully developed a new approach to better identify and treat sepsis. Our aim of doing this within an hour of diagnosis to reduce the risk of serious complications.

“Our Gloucestershire Safety and Quality Improvement Academy team has worked alongside our clinical staff and our pharmacy team to develop an ongoing programme of continuous improvement. We have made the process more robust and have taken small steps to review and refine our approach to help our clinicians to identify sepsis at the earliest opportunity and to give patients with symptoms antibiotics quickly in our busy A&E department.

“We have been asked to share our approach with NHS England to help other organisations to learn from our experience. What is most important for us however is the improvements we have made for the safety of our patients.”

In the letter, NHS England’s Medical Director for Clinical Effectiveness, Celia Ingham Clark said: “I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues for all the hard work and dedication you have shown, which has enabled these improvements in sepsis recognition and treatment to take place. Please pass my thanks on to the staff concerned for their achievements in improving the care for patients with sepsis”.