Programme Aim

This programme has four aims: to help organisations improve their outcomes with septic patients, to share best practice in sepsis management, measurement, education and improvement, to standardise sepsis management across the whole care pathway, and to share outcomes performance

Programme Focus

This programme focuses on standardising sepsis management across the whole care pathway throughout the Oxford AHSN region

Programme Details

Watch Geoff’s Story: one man’s encounter with sepsis here >


Sepsis is the number one cause of hospital mortality. It is under-recognised, under-estimated and under-treated. It is the most expensive admission diagnosis.

There are over 650,000 admissions to English NHS trusts per year with sepsis infection and around 80,000 deaths.

By improving sepsis recognition, timeliness and reliability of treatment, a third of these deaths would be prevented.

The regional Sepsis Group was convened in February 2016 and has met quarterly since. The group has agreed and implemented regional sepsis management pathways based on existing national guidelines and toolkits, and has contributed to the national sepsis agenda through the PSC Sepsis Cluster. We have recently been invited to host a workshop on the development of our regional pathway at the National Patient Safety Conference in May 2017.

Read more about the work of the group in this poster presented at Patient First, November 2017.

The Sepsis Group has provided an important forum for sharing and learning across the region. On-going and future work focuses on improving sepsis coding and measurement; standardizing the assessment and documentation of patients with possible sepsis in primary care, including routine use of the national early warning scores; strengthening the interfaces between primary care the ambulance service and acute trusts; improving sepsis recognition and management in community hospitals; and exploring the role of point of care tests.

We hosted a ‘working together’ event focusing on the new NICE sepsis guidelines on 19 September 2016. Download the presentations and read an evaluation of the event here.

Using routine coding data, we have developed a pragmatic methodology to define and measure a broad range of infection presentations associated with a risk of sepsis (“suspicion of sepsis”; SOS). We have applied this to regional data, and shared the results with Trusts and CCGs in our region, and with national stakeholders at the Sepsis Unplugged Conference in Brighton in October 2016.  A paper detailing this work has been published in BMJ Open and a “how to guide” has been developed to support replication of the methodology.  Our work has attracted interest from other AHSNs and we are considering a way of running the analyses for them. The Sepsis Trust and NHS England have also expressed interest in using our coding set to assess the national burden of suspicion of sepsis.

Further information:

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