Sepsis team celebrate award nomination

Posted: December 1, 2015

Group up for Patient Safety Award

A team of nurses, doctors and pharmacists who tackle the life-threatening condition of sepsis at Great Western Hospital in Swindon are celebrating after being nominated for a Patient Safety Award.

The multidisciplinary team will be attending the 2015 Health Business Awards at the Grange Hotel, St Paul's, London, on Thursday 3 December. The Patient Safety Award is awarded to the NHS trust which has "made great strides in providing a safe hospital environment for patients and has taken action to reduce hospital acquired infections and mortality rates."

Sepsis, previously known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, is the body's reaction to an infection where it attacks its own organs and tissues. It can start from any minor infection, such as a chest or urine infection or an infected bite or wound and is difficult to diagnose. The sooner treatment begins, the better the outcome and if not treated within six hours, it can be fatal. Over 37,000 people lose their lives to sepsis each year in the UK.

Sepsis is one of the Trust's Sign Up to Safety priorities and since 2013, staff have been working hard to adopt international best practice in the way we diagnose, treat and care for patients with signs of sepsis.

This has included introducing the Sepsis Six, a set of internationally recognised steps that need to happen as soon as a patient shows signs of sepsis. These simple interventions, which include antibiotics and intravenous fluids, can increase the patient's chance of survival by up to 30%.

Treating patients using the Sepsis Six principles and employing a full-time sepsis specialist nurse has resulted in a significant number of lives being saved - 83 lives in 2014. Currently, 80 per cent of sepsis patients at GWH now survive sepsis, which is significantly better than the national average of 65 per cent.

The average length of stay in hospital for patients with sepsis has also reduced by a day, with patients being treated quicker and recovering better.

Nic Lythell, Specialist Nurse Practitioner, said: "We are delighted to be nominated for the Patient Safety Award. Sepsis is one of our Trust's safety priorities and we work hard to identify and treat sepsis as quickly as possible and before life-threatening damage has been caused.

"The fact that more and more patients are surviving sepsis is testament to the vital work that we are doing. Speed really does save lives."

Further information

Please see Sign Up To Safety.

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