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Sepsis: NHS hospitals missing treatment target
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Sepsis: NHS hospitals missing treatment target

11/09/17Government

One in four NHS hospital trusts is failing to give antibiotics to half their patients with sepsis within the recommended time, new figures suggest.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the NHS had “more to do” to stop “preventable” deaths occurring as a result of sepsis.

Figures from 104 trusts seen by BBC Panorama show that 78% of patients are being screened, and 63% are receiving antibiotic treatment within one hour. The figures cover a 12-month period, concluding in March 2017.

In 2015, concerned at the growing number of undetected sepsis cases, the NHS told hospital trusts to examine how successful they were at diagnosing patients with the condition.

Alistair Jackson, a reporter for Panorama, decided to investigate sepsis following his mother’s death two years ago. She had been treated by her GP for a urinary tract infection.

Dr Ron Daniels, a leading sepsis expert and chief executive of the Sepsis Trust, reviewed the case for Panorama.

“There’s no evidence from the notes that sepsis itself was considered even in the face of abnormal observations and even when she started to deteriorate very quickly,” Daniels said.

Speaking to Panorama about the new figures, Hunt said: “There are preventable deaths happening, but we’re bringing them down and I think that the picture is much improved from two years ago, but there’s a long way to go.

“Safety is at the top of the NHS’s in-tray … and sepsis is, if you like, a litmus test as to whether we’re getting there. I would say that what it shows is that we are making progress but there is a lot more work to do.”

Pan European Networks Ltd