A recent BBC Panorama report has found that one in four NHS hospital trusts is failing to give antibiotics to half of their patients with sepsis within the recommended time frame. Out of the 104 trusts considered in the BBC investigation, it was noted that 78% of eligible patients are being screened appropriately for sepsis and that 63% are getting the necessary antibiotics within one hour. However, worryingly a number of the trusts figures were a lot lower than these average figures, for example, 37% of patients that need antibiotics for sepsis are not getting them within an hour and 14 of the hospital trusts considered are only screening one in every two people with signs of sepsis.
Sepsis is a rare but serious complication of an infection and without prompt treatment, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. NHS data estimates that there are 44,000 deaths each year in the UK from sepsis and that 14,000 of these deaths are preventable. The report has been released at a very apt time as September is sepsis awareness month and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has recently said that the NHS had “more to do” to stop “preventable” sepsis deaths occurring.
Ally Taft, Partner at the Medical Accident Group, said that “the figures reported by the Panorama report are very alarming. Sepsis is such a serious condition and it is vital that the signs are spotted and acted upon straight away to prevent death or life changing injuries occurring. The shocking statistics that illustrate that some trusts are only screening 50% of people with signs of sepsis, show that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the illness but also the improvements that the NHS need to make in terms of training and policy.”
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating sepsis, the Medical Accident Group can help. Our experienced and dedicated team, whose knowledge of clinical negligence and personal injury law is extensive, can support you through the process of making a claim and seeking justice. We can advise on issues from brain injury or birth injury to surgical and medical errors and accidents at work. Call us free on 0800 050 1668.