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DH considers developing tool to audit sepsis in primary care

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A new tool is likely to be developed to help primary care staff audit sepsis diagnoses among children, according to a government report.

The government said it will look into developing the tool, which it is hoped would improve the consistency of checks made when children have feverish illness, to help speed up diagnosis of the condition.

Initially developed for use among children under the age of five, it is expected the audit tool would also be eventually used with adults as well.

“I hope [this report] will give encouragement to NHS staff and patients alike that…we are well on our way to…becoming a patient-centred organisation”

Jeremy Hunt

Other measures to tackle sepsis include the introduction of new diagnosis and treatment goals for hospitals to help raise standards.

The developments are detailed in the Department of Health’s report published yesterday on progress made since the two Francis inquiries, published in 2010 and 2013, which investigated care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

The government report – called Culture change in the NHS, Applying the lessons of the Francis Inquiries – also stated that the DH will commission research on the feasibility of using data to produce rates of avoidable harm in England.

In addition, it will also carry out work looking into extending its data on avoidable deaths, to settings outside of hospitals.

The move follows the health secretary’s announcement earlier this week that an annual national review of avoidable deaths within hospitals would be introduced to help boards have a “laser-like focus” on eradicating mortalities.

Meanwhile, the DH said it will look to transfer NHS England’s responsibilities for patient safety into a single national body.

This is in line with a recommendation made by the Francis public inquiry, which suggested national functions on patient safety be moved to a single systems regulator.

“In the wake of the public inquiry the government agrees with Sir Robert that it makes sense to concentrate and consolidate national expertise and capability on safety within a single organisation that can provide strategic leadership across the whole healthcare system, the report said.

“The Department of Health will therefore consider with relevant organisations the options for transferring NHS England’s responsibilities for safety to a single national body,” it added.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the report “importantly” looked at areas where there was still work to be done around improving patient safety and creating a culture change within the NHS.

“I hope it will give encouragement to NHS staff and patients alike that, although there is much progress to make, we are well on our way to being able to say with confidence that the NHS is becoming a patient-centred organisation,” he said.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Jeremy Hunt needs to bring about outcomes re this long-awaited culture change in the NHS - not just yatter on as usual.
    Or perhaps he should let a more effective person take over his position?

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  • The idea of transferring NHS England’s responsibilities for patient safety into a single national body is a good one. I thought the NPSA already had the autonomy to do that. Good prospect anyways.

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