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New action to reduce sepsis in UK

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Staff writer ▼ | January 6, 2015
UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced further measures to tackle sepsis, involving the NHS, government and national health bodies.
UK sepsis
2 billion pounds lost   11,000 lives and 160 million pounds could be saved
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Each year, sepsis claims around 31,000 lives and costs the NHS in England about 2 billion pounds. There are around 1,000 cases a day for children under 5.

The aim is to make tackling sepsis as important to the NHS as C. difficile and MRSA, where rates have virtually halved since 2010. It is estimated that 11,000 lives and 160 million pounds could be saved every year through better diagnosis and treatment.

Plans include an audit of practice in every GP surgery in England by March 2015, and a new tool for GPs to diagnose sepsis among children under 5. New diagnosis and incentivised treatment goals for hospitals are also designed to help raise standards.

Plans to tackle sepsis include:

- a new electronic tool from autumn 2015 to prompt GPs to check for the signs and symptoms of sepsis in line with NICE clinical guidelines. This will start with children under 5 years old, and eventually extend to adults
- every GP surgery in England to audit their current performance by March 2015, to help improve practice in line with NICE guidelines
- new NICE clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in adults by 2016
- new diagnosis and incentivised treatment goals for hospitals to help raise standards. A similar scheme to reduce blood clots has seen risk assessment increase from 47% in 2010 to 96%
- Public Health England to look at the benefits of a new public awareness campaign on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, aimed at those most at risk
- support for local health services to improve early recognition and treatment of sepsis, in addition to work being done through the national Sign Up to Safety campaign. This will be done in partnership with the UK Sepsis Trust
- Health Education England will ensure healthcare workers and trainees receive training and education on sepsis
- more open reporting of avoidable harm through the new Duty of Candour, which means NHS organisations must admit where there has been significant harm caused to the patient and apologise.

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