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How to read the NEWS: The new early warning system

Linda Nazarko explains the use of the NEWS2 system in community care settings

All acute NHS hospitals and ambulance services are now using the revised National Early Warning Score (NEWS2).1 NEWS2 is used to measure acute deterioration in hospital and increasingly community nurses and medical staff requesting an emergency ambulance or an emergency hospital admission are being asked to provide the NEWS2 score. This article examines the use of NEWS2 and its appropriateness in community settings.

Early warning scores (EWS) are forms of track and trigger scoring systems. These involve checking basic physiological signs at intervals – tracking and responding to abnormal physiological parameters – triggers.2 Concerns regarding the lack of standardisation of EWS across the NHS led to the development of the National Early Warning System (NEWS).3

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