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Hospitals Face Penalty For Failing to Tackle Sepsis

Hospitals will incur docked NHS funding if measures aren’t made to meet targets in tackling sepsis.

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Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director of NHS England, has warned 0.25 per cent of each hospital trust’s funding will be withheld if progress is not made to reduce the number of people who die from sepsis each year.

As part of the major scheme, hospitals will have to check all patients quickly, give at-risk patients antibiotics within an hour, and introduce new tests to make sure they are not deteriorating.

Few people are aware of sepsis and toxic shock syndrome and the life-changing effects it can have. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but very serious illness that can quickly develop if it is not diagnosed and treated early. It  occurs when  the  Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria releases toxins into the body, which can lead to sepsis and septic shock. These bacteria may live harmlessly on the skin, but if they invade the body’s bloodstream they can release poisonous toxins which damage tissue, including skin and affect the functions of vital organs.

Myths surrounding toxic shock syndrome may potentially delay urgent medical attention that is needed and further information can be found in this previous blog Dispelling the Myths of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, and it is responsible for more than 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. Sepsis is one of the most common causes of death in intensive care units.

Earlier this year we highlighted the new guidelines from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, urging medical professionals to treat suspected sepsis with the same urgency as heart attacks. Experts believe that by treating more cases of sepsis early enough, between 5,000 and 13,000 cases could be avoided.

Following  the case of toddler Reuben Harvey-Smith, who lost both legs and most of his fingers to TSS and who we are representing in a  medical negligence claim , it is vital that all effective measures are put in place to ensure that lessons are learnt through clinical care. Toddler Has Legs And Fingers Amputated After Doctors Fail to Spot Signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome.




Tim Deeming is a senior clinical and medical negligence solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cambridge.

For a free consultation about a clinical or medical negligence compensation claim call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.


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