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Suffolk trust introduces new nursing role to improve care for deteriorating patient

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An acute trust in Suffolk has introduced of a new dedicated specialist nurse role to provide its nursing staff with more support to identify patients who develop sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI).

Lucy Butler and Manju Markose have been jointly appointed by Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust as clinical nurse specialists for deteriorating patients.

“I am really excited – we have got lots of ideas to further improve care”

Lucy Butler

The new role is designed to improve treatment and outcomes while also reducing mortality, said the trust. The two were both previously members of the hospital’s critical care outreach team.

They will initially focus on an education programme, including e-learning modules, to promote best practice for recognising, treating and transferring deteriorating patients.

They will specifically concentrate on sepsis and AKI – two of the most common causes of deterioration that can lead to significant long-term issues or death if not treated quickly enough.

Ms Butler, who has been a nurse for 17 years and has 13 years of intensive care experience, said: “I developed a particular interest in sepsis after watching a patient who had originally had the flu get sicker and sicker within just a few hours.

“At the time, we didn’t know much about the illness so it was shocking to see, but with a lot of support we helped her recover,” she said.

“I applied for this role as I wanted to make a difference by picking up those patients at an early stage so they do not end up in ITU with organ failure and facing years of issues after they have been treated,” she noted.

“I hope that we can make a huge difference both in the hospital and within our local community”

Manju Markose

Ms Butler added: “I am really excited – we have got lots of ideas to further improve care and are looking forward to working with colleagues to make them a reality.”

Ms Markose, who has spent much of her 19-year career in critical care, developed an interest in AKI after caring for deteriorating patients for many years and writing a dissertation on it for a master’s degree.

She said: “In the UK, up to 100,000 deaths each year in hospital are associated with AKI (as per the data in 2009).

“Up to 30% could be prevented with the right care and treatment, but cases can be successfully treated if it is identified early enough,” she said. “As such, I believe there are lots of things we can do in this new role to help save lives.

“I hope that we can make a huge difference both in the hospital and within our local community as we will also be working to raise awareness of the best way to manage deteriorating patients among our colleagues in the wider NHS,” she added.

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