Drive for NHS to focus on sepsis treatment

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11,000 lives could be saved if good practice care followed

UK Sepsis Trust chief executive Ron Daniels has called for an increased national focus on identifying and treating sepsis.

Dealing with sepsis patients could soon have the same importance as reducing pressure ulcers or hospital acquired infections, with the proposals gaining support from Sir Bruce Keogh. Dr Daniels is urging for hospitals to have a financial incentive to spot sepsis early, using a similar method to the one which tackled patients with venous thromboembolism. This drive has been said to significantly reduce the number of blood clots in patients.

Sepsis is a life threatening condition which occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis can lead to shock, organ failure and even death, causing an estimated 37,000 deaths in the UK each year. Experts have calculated that a minimum of 11,000 lives could be saved if basic good practice around sepsis care was followed.

National focus

Dr Daniels has also stated that he wants hospitals to be incentivised to screen patients who present with symptoms compatible with infection or abnormal physiology for sepsis.

An NHS England spokeswoman told the HSJ “NHS England is currently developing proposals for incentive schemes for commissioners and providers for 2015/16 and will publish details later in the year.”