Staff at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) have introduced a series of initiatives over the past year to improve performance against sepsis targets and the care given to patients, including:
• Employing two full-time acute kidney injury (AKI) / sepsis specialist nurses across its three main hospitals
• Educating ward and emergency staff on the risk factors and signs and symptoms of sepsis
• Reviewing any patients scoring three or more on the National Early Warning Score for possibility of sepsis.
An automatic pop up box has also been introduced to the Trust’s Electronic Patient Record (EPR) which asks staff entering notes for patients scoring three or more – “Could this be sepsis?”
• The Trust’s EPR also flags up any patients at risk of sepsis which is visible to staff updating or accessing notes
• The introduction of children being screened for sepsis as a mandatory task. This will also be flagged up as part of the electronic admission process.
In November 2017, the Trust hit 100% for emergency screening for the first time and 98.99% for inpatient screening – against the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) target of 90% for both.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion.
Fiona Richardson, Acute Care Matron, UHMBT, said: “This fantastic achievement is a combined effort of the work and dedication of the sepsis / AKI practice educators to embed the electronic screening and education on sepsis, and also the dedication of clinical staff who want to do the right thing for our patients. “Staff are readily asking the question ‘could this be sepsis?’ and acting upon any signs or symptoms using the relevant guidance. The high achievement reflects the dedication of all staff at UHMBT to strive to continually improve the care for our patients.”
Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the Trust and is a reflection of the hard work of our staff and the initiatives we have implemented over the past year, to ensure patient care is at the forefront of what we do.”
For more information on sepsis, visit the NHS Choices website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/