A new team is being set up at Walsall Manor Hospital to care for patients with sepsis.
The sepsis team, which will be in place from February once all staff are in post, will be incorporated with the Sepsis and Outreach Response Team (SORT).
Based within Theatres, Anaesthetics and Critical Care (TACC), the sepsis team will be supervised by ICU Matron Angela Dixon and Clinical Director for Critical Care Dr Aditya Kuravi.
Five senior sisters have been recruited to cover sepsis alongside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) sisters that rotate onto SORT.
Statistics show why the team is needed. According to the UK Sepsis Trust, 250,000 people in the UK are affected by sepsis every year, 52,000 people die because of sepsis (1,000 of which are children) and 60,000 suffer permanent, life-changing after effects.
“Sepsis is a bigger cause of death than heart attacks in the UK – for every hour the ‘sepsis six pathway’ (six-step treatment plan) is delayed, the chances of death increase by 2.4 per cent,” said Critical Care Rehabilitation Senior Sister Amy Blakemore, who is part of the new team.
“Audits show there are gaps in sepsis compliance and education throughout the NHS, so this team is essential to provide timely, patient-responsive care, and in a way that can be measured.”
Amy added: “Within the outreach role we see critically ill patients in multi-organ failure. By doubling our team, we are hoping we can catch patients earlier and hopefully help avoid some ICU admissions.
“At the moment, these patients are seen by medics and/or surgeons and the hospital on call teams. Outreach also sees these patients and they will still have a large part to play in the deteriorating patient management alongside the hospital out of hours service – it will be a team approach.
Alongside Amy, the SORT team comprises Jeanette Roberts, Laura Hu, Sarah Brown and Helen Halsall. There will be two members of staff on duty during the day – one sepsis and one outreach – seven days a week, from 8am-8.30pm. During the evening, Outreach, which has been a 24-hour service since June 2019, will be covered as normal.
The sepsis nurses will be dual rolled as the rota dictates and still keep their outreach skills up to date, while there are two ICU sisters on the team in rotational posts – currently these are Becky Clay and Louise King.
The team is alerted to a suspected sepsis case when a patient is flagged on the Trust’s patient clinical monitoring system (VitalPAC), prompting appropriate, timely treatment.
Audits and benchmarking are also carried out to assess if this improves the patient’s mortality, length of stay and safety.
The team will also de-escalate patients from the ‘sepsis six’ to ensure antibiotics are correctly used.
SORT is indebted to the allied services which has supported the team.
“I would like to recognise all the hard work that Emergency Department (ED), hospital at night, medics and surgeons have done to ensure patient safety within the hospital, and the hard work they have done for sepsis treatment,” added Amy.
The introduction of the new team follows the successful implementation of a similar department at partners The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT).
Amy said: “We have met some of the RWT team, which has been shaped to meet their needs.
“As a new service, we are keen to link up with all resources for guidance and help. They have a successful team and we look forward to picking their brains.”
Anyone who needs to contact the Sepsis Team should bleep 3039.