Latest step in NUH’s fight against sepsis

Emergency Department patients are to be given sepsis advice as part of NUH’s latest efforts in the fight against sepsis. 

The new leaflets will be given to appropriate patients suffering from an infection who are safe to be discharged home. It contains advice on recovery but also signs of possible sepsis to watch out for.

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It’s the next step in NUH’s ten year sepsis journey. It has made steady progress in detecting and treating sepsis during that time and in particular in recent years.

The Trust has introduced automatic screening for adult patients using our automated e-observation system. It means 91% of patients are screened for sepsis at our hospitals.

Since 2010 the time taken for a patient with sepsis to be seen by a critical care specialist has been halved – from seven hours down to under four. In August, the Trust also introduced mandatory training in recognition and treating patients with sepsis for clinical staff.

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Dr Mark Simmonds, the former Sepsis Lead at the Trust said: “We are very proud of the progress we have made. In 2005 NUH set out on a journey of measurement, analysis and engagement, NUH has set about radical change. The first five years provided a foundation of which rapid change could evolve and we’ve seen that since 2010.”

Dr Simmonds said that the focus for improvement moved to individuals and the Trust began working on individualised audit and feedback with staff.

The results are shown in mortality data that show the Trust is performing well compared to peer hospitals.

Dr Marc Chikhani, the new Sepsis Lead at NUH, said: “We have been really pleased by the progress made over the last decade and that is due to the hard work of so many people, we have seen substantial sustained improvements in both processes and patient outcomes.

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“But we know there is still work to do and we are looking at the next step for improvement.

“As part of our work around World Sepsis Day we will be working with colleagues to encourage them to identify patients at risk of harm from sepsis, and communicate the need for urgent treatment, especially how vital it is to administer antibiotics as soon as possible to give the best chance of treatment success”.

The Sepsis Team used World Sepsis Day to promote the new leaflet and their ongoing sepsis work.

They decided to prioritise the idea of a leaflet after hearing the story of sepsis patient Karl Goodere-Dale who had been suffering from a chest infection and was sent home. The next morning he collapsed and had to be rushed to Queen’s Medical Centre where he became critically unwell. He was quickly diagnosed with sepsis and treated but still faced eight weeks in hospital and a lengthy recovery.

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Sally Wood, Lead Sepsis Nurse at NUH, said speaking with Karl was the prompt to write the leaflet. She said: “After hearing about Karl’s experience we knew providing more support and information to patients early on would be a good idea. It will help patients think about sepsis appropriately and help clinicians begin treatment sooner.

“There has been a lot of positive feedback from patients and staff – it’s just one of a number of ways we are trying to build on our sepsis work of the last decade.”

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