NHS England has issued new guidelines for hospitals in the country to cut sepsis deaths. Hospital could be penalised if they fail to abide by the new guidelines.

The new guidelines mandate the staff of the hospitals to alert senior doctors if patients suffering from sepsis do not respond to the treatment within one hour.

Sepsis is a condition that is hard to detect and caused by the body’s poor response to a bacterial infection depleting its own tissues and organs. In UK, this condition claims37,000 lives a year.

The new guidelines, which is effective 1 April, require all the NHS trusts to comply with the advice to improve accountability.

The new guidelines are drafted in consultation with the Royal College of Physicians, the UK Sepsis Trust and NHS England.

According to the guidelines, the hospital staff must look for signs of sepsis in patients reporting into Accidents and Emergencies (A&E) at an early stage.

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Medics must also focus on family concerns, particularly regarding any significant change in behaviour.

NHS England Clinical Effectiveness medical director Celia Ingham Clark said: “We’ve come a long way in the NHS in improving how we identify and tackle sepsis, with more people having the problem spotted and treated than ever before.

“The NHS long-term plan is a blueprint for transforming NHS care and after the success we’ve had ramping up earlier sepsis diagnosis in many parts of the country, all hospitals will now be required to deliver the best possible practices for identifying and treating sepsis.”

Furthermore, the NHS said that it is working with partners to releasing a tool named National Early Warning Scores (NEWS2) that can be used to identify ill adult patients and notify senior staff if a review of their condition is needed to determine whether it is caused by sepsis.

UK Sepsis Trust clinical adviserDr Tim Nutbeam said: “The UKST welcomes this initiative – if delivered correctly, it will ensure rapid and effective treatment for the patients who need it most, whilst ensuring that senior clinical decision-makers are supported in making informed, balanced decisions in relation to the prescribing of antibiotics.”