A team of “champions” is being enlisted across Morriston Hospital, as part of a new campaign highlighting sepsis that also includes mandatory training and an updated screening tool.
The campaign originated in the emergency department, where two open days have been held to promote early treatment and management of sepsis among staff, with a third taking place in July.
“I’m very passionate as a nurse that we recognise patients with signs of sepsis early”
Now it is being rolled out across the rest of the hospital, with the longer-term aim of making it available across Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
Morriston has previously established a sepsis team of three that includes nurse lead Hannah King and clinical lead Dr Rangaswamy Mothukuri.
There is also a team of “sepsis champions”, comprising emergency staff who are actively supporting the campaign and helping highlight the importance of early detection in treating the condition.
Dr Mothukuri said a working group was set up last year called SeGMED (Sepsis Group Morriston ED), including receptionists, healthcare support workers, pharmacists, nurses and doctors.
“From there, we started working on what we could do to improve awareness of sepsis,” he said. “We started doing a lot of teaching sessions and we included it in our mandatory teaching sessions on a regular basis.
“By the end of 2014-15 we managed to achieve 100% training in the emergency department,” he noted.
That in turn led to the two open days, held last November and March this year, which were open to all staff. A third takes place next month.
“Hopefully we can have a standardised approach and awareness across the site”
Ms King said: “We realised there was a keen interest not just within the ED but across the hospital from people wanting to recognise the symptoms and signs of sepsis early on.
“I’m very passionate as a nurse that we recognise patients with signs of sepsis early,” she stated.
“Reinforcing knowledge through further awareness and training will hopefully reduce serious illness and mortality, not just in ED but across the hospital,” she said.
“We now have a platform to offer education and teaching, so hopefully we can have a standardised approach and awareness across the site and improve patient outcomes as a result,” she added.
Patients coming into the hospital have vital signs recorded in the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) system, with anything abnormal triggering a further investigation into potential sepsis using a standard screening tool.
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As part of their campaign, the Morriston emergency department team have updated the screening tool using the latest research and data, making it more accurate and in-depth, yet easier to use.
Next month, the new screening tool will be rolled out to an initial 10 acute wards within the hospital, with the sepsis team providing training and support for ward staff.
Ultimately the aim is to make it available not only across Morriston but in all the health board’s hospitals.
In addition, as the emergency department has sepsis champions, so will the hospital’s other wards.
Ms King said: “We are looking to find staff who are as passionate about the subject as we are, and for them to take ownership of it in their clinical areas along with the ward managers.
“They will help make sure everyone is doing the best they can to pick up any potential cases of sepsis in their individual area,” she added.