Saving lives by early detection of sepsis

More people in Gloucestershire are surviving sepsis thanks to improvements in diagnosing and treating the condition.

Also known as blood poisoning, sepsis is caused by infections such as pneumonia or gut problems. It can be very serious and is often hard to spot, but can be treated easily if it is detected early.

Clinicians in Gloucestershire have been raising awareness of sepsis across a range of non-hospital health settings such as care homes and GP surgeries to help ensure that it gets recognised and diagnosed promptly. To help with this, GPs and other healthcare professionals are now using a calculator called NEWS (National Early Warning Score) which helps with diagnosis.

Meanwhile, our two main hospitals have been highlighted by NHS England as being amongst the most improved and in the top 10% of Trusts in England for identifying and treating sepsis.

Thanks to these initiatives, the county won the Nursing Times Patient Safety Award and was asked to share its approach with NHS England to help other organisations. The West of England region, which includes Gloucestershire, also won the 2018 BMJ Award for Patient Safety.