Theresa May has promised services will ‘get better’ at spotting sepsis in a bid to prevent 10,000 avoidable deaths each year.
The Prime Minister was responding to a question from Conservative MP for Dudley South Mike Wood, who was diagnosed with sepsis in January after suffering from a sore throat for weeks. He returned to the House of Commons full-time for his first Prime Minister’s Questions since his recovery on 26 April.
Mr Wood was initially thought to have meningitis but when a doctor recognised his symptoms as sepsis, he was rushed to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley where he was placed in an induced coma. His blood pressure crashed to 30 and he was put on a ventilator.
He said to the Commons: ‘It’s good to be back. To be honest it’s good to be anywhere. The doctors and nurses at Russell Hall Hospital saved my life in January but each year in the UK 44,000 people are less lucky.
‘Will the Prime Minister look at the measures we can take to reduce deaths from sepsis including awareness raising and a national registry to properly record the burden of sepsis and effective commissioning levers to incentivise best practice?’
Mr Wood noted the UK Sepsis Trust estimates his suggested measures could save 50,000 lives in the course of the next Parliament.
MPs across the house cheered Mr Wood’s appearance as Theresa May welcomed him back to his seat. She commended his efforts to ‘bring a focus on this devastating condition’.
She said: ‘As we know something like 10,000 deaths per year could be avoided through prevention, early diagnosis and treatment so we do need to get better at spotting sepsis across the NHS. The Department of Health is already beginning work on a new sepsis action plan, we’re having a new public awareness campaign and we expect a NICE quality standard to be published later this year.
‘With the passion that my honourable friend now brings to this campaign I’m sure he will continue to have his voice heard on this important issue.’
You can read more about sepsis in our News Focus, available in the next print edition of Independent Nurse (1 May 2017).