NHS Hospitals could face financial penalties for breaching new sepsis guidelines

  • March 15, 2019
  • Hospitals are at risk of facing financial penalties for failing to meet new guidelines in relation to the detection and treatment of sepsis.

    Sepsis, which is difficult to spot, occurs when the body responds poorly to a bacterial infection resulting in the attack of its own tissue and organs. The UK Sepsis Trust states that sepsis claims the lives of 5 people every hour in the UK and a quarter of all sepsis survivors suffer permanent and life-altering after effects.

    Early treatment boosts chances recovery

    Early treatment is vital to ensure a positive outcome for the patient. The guidelines call for staff to look out for signs of sepsis when people are coming into A&E at an early stage and includes a requirement for staff to alert senior doctors if any patients are suspected of having sepsis and not responding to any treatment within one hour.

    This is a contractual obligation on all NHS Trusts in England to fully comply with the advice from April in a concerted effort to help improve accountability.

    A welcome initiative to speed diagnosis

    Dr Tim Nutbeam, a clinical advisor for the UK Sepsis Trust welcomes the initiative. He has said that “if delivered correctly, it will ensure rapid and effective treatment for the patients who need it most”.

    Celia Ingham Clark, a medical director for clinical effectiveness has said that the NHS has come a long way ‘in improving how we identify and tackle sepsis, with more people having the problem spotted and treated than ever before’ and the new guidelines will assist this meaning ‘all hospitals will now be required to deliver the best possible practices for identifying and treating sepsis’.

    It appears that this is a move which is part of a wider drive to help speed the diagnosis and treatment of patients arriving at A&E with suspected sepsis and other killers such as strokes and heart attacks.

    Charlotte Measures, Senior Associate Solicitor, the Medical Accident Group said, “We have experience of handling claims where there has been a delay in diagnosis of sepsis often with serious consequences.”

    We deal with all areas of medical negligence including delay in sepsis diagnosis. If you or someone you know has suffered a delay in the diagnosis of sepsis or have lost a loved one due to the condition not being managed correctly then please contact us.” If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email us at info@medicalaccidentgroup.co.uk.

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