22 July 2019
Responding to NHS figures showing the number of people admitted to hospital with sepsis had doubled in three years, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan said: “While there is no doubt we are getting better at spotting sepsis, we need to focus on providing consistency in the quality and timeliness of care we provide for these patients, where delays in treatment can lead to added harm, both in hospital and out.
“Staff and patients should be aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis and we are working with the UK Sepsis Trust to create greater awareness, ensure resources are adequate to meet need and help explore research opportunities.
“The elephant in the room though is the increased crowding that is all too pervasive in our Emergency Departments due to lack of hospital bed capacity and staffing challenges. This must be tackled to provide care for these patients and others with time critical conditions. Hospital performance standards for emergency care continue to deteriorate at the height of summer and we must address these root causes.
“We must also ensure that our ED doctors and nursing staff are equipped with the resources to apply their skills to tackle children and adults with sepsis and those with potential sepsis. RCEM’s recent clinical audit programmes have highlighted the key requirements to improve care delivery for this vital group of patients; with consistency of practice around use of risk stratification tools being particularly important.”