One of the first sepsis nurse specialists in the UK wants to promote the importance of her lifesaving role through the expansion of a sepsis nurse forum.
Jacqui Jones was appointed by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2010, following a successful 12-month pilot.
“As a united group, we feel we can achieve much more”
Through her work, the trust now trains more than 500 staff a year on sepsis awareness and its protocol on detecting and treating what is a life-threatening condition.
Ms Jones, who remained the only sepsis specialist nurse in the UK for about three years, said was driven by a determination to raise awareness of the condition.
She said: “It is a huge challenge not only locally, but nationally and internationally. Sepsis needs publicity.
“It needs to be high on the health care agenda and investment is needed to sustain and continue to make improvements,” she warned.
As chair of the recently created UK Sepsis Nurse Forum, she said she was keen to improve partnership working between sepsis nurses to share best practice, improve awareness and ultimately save lives.
“It is vital we support staff with education and resources to enable them to have the skills to recognise and treat sepsis on time, every time,” she said.
Ms Jones developed the forum in 2013 with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust sepsis nurse Paul Drew.
The forum now has 66 members, of which 33 attended the forum’s second annual general meeting earlier this year, compared to only 16 in the first year.
However, she said she keen to grow the forum even more and believed a more united group was capable of ensuring more lives were saved from sepsis.
“As a united group, we feel we can achieve much more,” she said. “The work we have done has meant patients with sepsis can be more easily identified so the care and support they need to make a full recovery can be delivered.
Pioneering sepsis nurse hopes to expand network
“The resources we share are invaluable and support of each other is vital,” she said. “We are able to share experiences and what has worked, what hasn’t and ultimately, how we can improve.”
Ms Jones has set up a regional group for the North East and said she was encouraging the development of other regional groups across the country.
“My plan as chair is to support the regional collaborative across the UK, so it is feasible for sepsis nurses to meet up on a monthly basis within their region and feed into the national forum,” she said.
“One of the compelling qualities of the forum is there is no competitiveness – the ethos of each and every member is to maximise patient safety and transparency from each member is paramount to take our services forward,” she added.
Nurses can follow the forum on the social media site Twitter via @UKsepsisnurses. A website and Facebook page are also in development.