Project looks at septicaemia

A major project has been launched to help combat one of the UK’s biggest killers.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of only a handful of organisations to receive funding from the Health Foundation.

The trust will get £433,000 for a two-year project to tackle sepsis in North Tyneside and Northumberland hospitals.

Sepsis – also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning – accounts for 37,000 deaths a year nationally as the body attacks its own organs and tissue after an infection.

If not spotted and treated quickly, sepsis can lead to organ failure and death. However, if it is caught early, patients can make a good recovery.

Dr Eliot Sykes, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care and business unit director at the trust, said: “We have identified sepsis as a key priority for the trust as we’ve seen incidences increase dramatically over the last ten years.

“Being awarded money from the foundation is a fantastic opportunity to improve patient care for a common and potentially lethal condition.

“We have a good track record tackling issues like these and developing solutions which ultimately improve patient safety.”

Northumbria Healthcare’s work will focus on raising awareness among staff of the symptoms of sepsis and the treatment required in the crucial first hour.

Dr Ron Daniels, chair of UK Sepsis Trust, said: “Reliable delivery of life-saving treatment to patients with sepsis demands new ways of working, with collaboration between clinical teams within and outside hospitals, heightened awareness among health professionals and the public, and robust measurement and data reporting.

“We are proud to be working alongside Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in this collaborative region-wide project to improve the delivery of sepsis care to its population.

“Together, we can ensure that we design and implement an improvement programme which can inform national strategy and be disseminated widely.”