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Sepsis collaboration shortlisted for national prize

An innovative, reliable and consistent tool to measure sepsis, created through a powerful partnership driven by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), has been shortlisted for a HSJ award 2018 in ‘Enhancing Care by Sharing Data and Information’.

The ‘Suspicion of Sepsis (SOS) Insight Dashboard’ tool has been created by Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) through the Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC), in collaboration with NHS Improvement and NHS England, and building on the methodology for measuring sepsis previously published by Oxford AHSN.

Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition. Without early identification and treatment there is a significant risk of long term disability or death, but sepsis currently doesn’t have a gold standard diagnostic test or stable clinical definition.

The new dashboard tool enables NHS staff – for the first time ever – to use reliable data to monitor and assess the impact of interventions on deteriorating patients with SOS. It focuses on measurement of interventions, which helps local teams determine which methods work best, and which may need to be spread more widely across their organisation.

The HSJ awards are one of the largest celebrations of healthcare excellence in the world, recognising and promoting the finest achievements in the NHS, and showcasing them to the service’s most influential leaders.

Amanda Pegden, Acute Medical Consultant and sepsis clinical lead, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon, said: “Working together regionally for a common goal has resulted in a pathway we are happy to use to potentially save lives from sepsis.”

Kenny Ajayi, ICHP’s Programme Lead-Patient Safety, said: “I am delighted that our partnership work has been recognised on such a prestigious platform. The creation of the tool demonstrates the unique strength AHSNs have in bringing partners together to spark cross-boundary working to benefit patients. We are looking forward to the dashboard being launched fully later this month on World Sepsis Day on 13 September.”

The Oxford PSC ‘suspicion of sepsis’ project, led by Professor Charles Vincent, used routine coding data to develop a pragmatic methodology to define and measure a broad range of infection presentations associated with a risk of sepsis. It took routine administrative data to assess and compare patient outcomes (e.g. mortality, length of stay, readmission rate, intensive care admissions) over time and across organisations. This analysis allowed the most common and most high-risk infections to be identified.

This was applied to regional data and the results shared with Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups in the Oxford AHSN region, as well as national stakeholders at the Sepsis Unplugged Conference 2016. A paper detailing this work was published in BMJ Open in 2017 and a ‘how to’ guide developed to support spread of this approach.

  • Read more about the Oxford PSC sepsis patient safety programme here
  • Read more about the ICHP dashboard here
  • Winners of the HSJ Awards 2018 will be revealed at a ceremony at the Intercontinental London hotel on 21 November – a number of our regional NHS partners and other AHSNs are also among the finalists; see all the shortlisted initiatives here