Healthcare professionals are being urged to improve early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director.
Ahead of a major public awareness campaign delivered as a collaboration between NHS England and the UK Sepsis Trust, Sir Bruce set out the work that has been done so far to help doctors and nurses recognise and treat sepsis.
Sir Bruce said: 'Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are spotting and treating more cases of sepsis than ever before, but there is still more we can do to reduce the number of families experiencing the heartache of losing a loved one from sepsis.'
Progress from NHS England’s Sepsis Action Plan has been recorded, but the next wave of activity is already underway and further measures to support healthcare professionals are expected over the course of the next year.
This includes a package of support to aid earlier diagnosis of sepsis in young children and distribution of new educational materials for healthcare professionals to recognise sepsis.
Louise Silverton, director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'Midwives should certainly “think sepsis” where there is deterioration in the health of either mother or baby. This means we need the right number of midwives so that they can deliver the best possible care, including in the postnatal period.
'Having the right numbers of staff will also help to ensure continuity of care and carer for women. Midwives who know the woman will be better equipped to spot changes in the woman’s condition and identify problems such as sepsis developing.'
Sir Bruce also outlines a series of local recommendations that can help GPs and practice nurses such as ensuring all software in GP practices alerts healthcare professionals to speak to parents about sepsis when they child is sick.