Sepsis success celebrated during first ever Quality Week

Posted: September 7, 2017

90 per cent of patients screened for potentially fatal infection

With more than 90 per cent of patients at the Great Western Hospital being screened for sepsis on arrival, medics have spoken of their joy at seeing the vast majority of people with the potentially fatal infection make a full recovery. 

It comes as Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust prepares to mark World Sepsis Day - as part of its first ever Quality Week - on Tuesday 12 September. 

A jam-packed week of events and activities, Quality Week will be an opportunity for staff from all corners of the Trust to learn more about the different work taking place at GWH and in the community that's helping to improve safety and quality.  

Sepsis remains a key safety priority but, thanks to the hard work and determination of staff in identifying and treating the condition as early as possible, the Trust is now considered a leading force in the fight against sepsis. 

Dr Amanda Pegden, Acute Medicine Consultant and Sepsis Lead, said: "With sepsis, speed is everything. An early diagnosis can often be the difference between life and death for some patients. 

"We're lucky at the Great Western Hospital that we have the skilled people and the tested systems in place to spot it very early, something still in development at other NHS hospitals."

Often referred to as septicaemia or blood poisoning, sepsis occurs when the body's immune system goes into overdrive and begins to attack itself. 

Since 2014, the lives of more than 220 patients with sepsis have been saved by the quick decision making of staff at the Swindon hospital. 

Dr Pegden said: "World Sepsis Day is a fantastic chance to not only celebrate our achievements but share our learning with others who may be less familiar with the signs, symptoms and treatment of sepsis.

"This year it's even more special as we're not only celebrating our sepsis success, but all the other fantastic quality and safety work that's taking place across the Trust as part of Quality Week." 

Another of the Trust's key safety pledges is to reduce pressure ulcers, sometimes referred to as bed sores, in patients staying in hospital for long periods of time. 

Earlier this year it was announced the Trust had recorded the lowest number of pressure ulcers in the south west. 

This strong performance is a direct result of the work of the Tissue Viability Team, who ensure that all patients are given a skin assessment within two hours of admission. 

Hilary Walker, Chief Nurse, said: "A pressure ulcer can have a huge impact on a patient's recovery and general health and wellbeing, particularly among the elderly, which is why we're doing everything we can to prevent them."

All the various safety and quality projects happening at GWH and in the community support 500 Lives, the Trust's deliberately ambitious vision of saving an extra 500 lives by 2020. 

For more information, visit  www.gwh.nhs.uk/about-us/500-Lives.