A toolkit to reduce the number of children dying from sepsis has been launched by the UK Sepsis Trust.
At a parliamentary launch on 8 September, the charity introduced the toolkit which aims to raise the awareness of sepsis symptoms in young children.
A key message from the event was the importance of recognising sepsis early and the increased role of primary care in being able to diagnose the condition. If the condition is recognised early on, it can be treated with an antibiotic. However, if sepsis is allowed to develop it can be fatal.
Nicola Lythell, a sepsis specialist nurse at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that many healthcare professionals think that sepsis is a condition only seen in acute care. 'We often are faced with patients who could've been identified sooner and could have been treated out in the community.'
Ms Lythell said that in her area of Swindon it is about breaking down barriers between secondary and primary care and encouraging general practice, community hospitals and hospitals to train their staff to spot sepsis symptoms.
Jeremy Hunt was presented with a Global Sepsis Award for his ongoing commitment to promoting sepsis care. In January 2015 he placed sepsis as a high priority for the NHS, announcing a range of measures to help medical professionals treat the condition.
Mr Hunt said: 'It is vital that we tackle this devastating condition which destroys the lives of hundreds of families each year. We're already making good progress to improve diagnosis – but of course we want to go further. So I welcome this toolkit, which will help NHS staff spot the early signs of sepsis and act quickly with the right treatments, preventing children from needlessly losing their lives to this silent killer.'
The UK Sepsis Trust also launched a screening tool for healthcare professionals to help them recognise sepsis.
Greater recognition is hospitals and the community could prevent thousands of deaths and save the NHS £160 million annually.