Delays in giving treatment for sepsis are putting patients lives at risk, according to BBC News research. Patients are supposed to receive an antibiotic drip in hospital within an hour when sepsis is suspected - but the BBC research suggests a quarter of patients in England wait longer.
NHS England said there were signs performance was improving and it said hospitals were getting better at spotting those at risk sooner.
The UK Sepsis Trust (UKST) has also announced findings from an APPG report on sepsis, revealing that the overwhelming majority of Trusts and hospitals use clinical tools developed by the UK Sepsis Trust.
The report found that 80% of Trusts surveyed are using UKST’s recognition pathway, Red Flag Sepsis and that nearly 100% of Trusts are using The UK Sepsis Trust’s treatment pathway, the Sepsis Six, both of which tools support NHS implementation guidance.
The FOI report calls for commitment from all NHS organisations to adopt these tools, for better use of data interoperability to identify those most at risk and, lastly, for a far-reaching public awareness campaign, endorsed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make more people aware of the condition, giving them a better chance of survival.
This report is published alongside the announcement by UKST of the recent endorsement of their screening and action tools by NICE, as well as a new formal collaboration between UKST and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM).
As partners, UKST and RCEM will work together to improve data interoperability between hospitals in order to target care towards those who need it most urgently, also supported by Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Digital.
Dr Ron Daniels BEM, CEO of the UK Sepsis Trust comments: “This report shows that we’ve made great strides in the right direction when it comes to caring for those with sepsis, but it also shows that there is more to be done to improve sepsis care.
"Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Trusts are using our clinical tools, the problem of sepsis is more prevalent than ever. We must now urgently focus our attention on further improving the identification and treatment of sepsis. Using interoperable data shared between hospitals and Trusts will enable healthcare professionals to identify more accurately those most at risk, and in most urgent need of care.”
New video for parents
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust has launched a new video for parents who attend A&E with their children with a fever or suspected infections.
Upon discharge, the hospital is showing parents a video on sepsis before being discharged to help create awareness around the possible danger signs.
Warning signs for children with a fever include abnormal drowsiness, rapid breathing, a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it that and mottled pale skin.
A&E registrar Gurdev Sond added: “We see more than 222 children a month with fevers in A&E and the majority recover with no complication “In the past year, we’ve dealt with 2,168 cases but can minimise that risk with the help of the public.”