NHS fight against sepsis

The Health Secretary has announced new measures to combat sepsis.

Thousands of nurses, care home staff and pharmacists will be taught how to check for signs and symptoms of sepsis as part of a new NHS plan to improve treatment for the condition.

Sepsis kills around 37,000 people in England every year because it is difficult to detect.

In 2015 the NHS launched the first national action plan to tackle sepsis across England, focusing on hospitals and GP surgeries.

The new measures directs help at the wider health system. It aims to reduce the number of people affected by the condition whilst also improving how it is tracked and recorded.

The new measures include: a clear definition of adult sepsis for clinicians; educational materials to raise awareness among all primary care, pharmacists and health care professionals; and targeting care homes, pharmacists and other areas of the NHS which deal with frail and older people to prevent sepsis.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: “We want the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world, and our ability to diagnose and treat sepsis effectively is a key litmus test of progress. While the NHS has taken major steps in recent years to improve how it responds to sepsis – actions that have saved nearly 1,000 lives – there is still more work to do to protect the many thousands who develop this dangerous condition each year.

“We need every part of our health system on the highest possible alert for sepsis, and this new plan will ensure more health professionals get the training, advice and targeted support to tackle this silent killer.”

Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director for NHS England, said: “Since the publication of our first plan in 2015 a lot has been done and this additional set of proposed actions reflects the desire of health professionals to tackle this dangerous condition.”