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Our idea

Improving sepsis care in Northern Ireland has been recognised as a strategic priority by the Department of Health and a regional quality improvement group has been established to take this forward. A recent workshop attended by a range of health professionals identified a need for in-house and regional education regarding sepsis and development of awareness raising/engagement materials as part of a regional quality improvement approach. Sepsis claims 44,000 lives per year in the UK (UK Sepsis Trust). Effective delivery of the Sepsis 6 has been associated with a 50% reduction in mortality.  Colleagues in Republic of Ireland have successfully introduced sepsis education and awareness raising programmes for staff. Sepsis awareness campaigns have been delivered in a number of UK Hospitals. By educating staff and through implementation of the Sepsis 6 we could potentially save up to 7000 lives per annum in Northern Ireland.

Our Proposal

Whilst many excellent examples of sepsis awareness work exist within individual Trusts across Northern Ireland, we do not have a regional sepsis awareness campaign for all staff. We propose to develop and launch an awareness campaign to positively influence the early identification of sepsis and prompt delivery of the Sepsis 6. This will greatly enhance this important aspect of care and improve the safety and experience of staff who move from one Trust to another. The proposal will consist of the following elements:

Sepsis Awareness Week

Two large events will  be held in two separate venues in Northern Ireland (East and West) attracting a large number of staff from a range of professional and clinical backgrounds. The two large events will be delivered by local and national expert speakers, supported by local champions. The local champions will also lead and facilitate local awareness events during that week within their own Trusts.

The regional and local events will be delivered in partnership with the UK Sepsis Trust and engage expert patients who will share valuable patient journeys and patient stories.

Given our close proximity with Republic of Ireland, we propose to explore potential links for an All-Ireland approach to learning.

In planning and preparing for the week, we propose to formalise links with sepsis champions from the rest of the UK to learn from their experiences. Many of these links are already established.

Much of sepsis awareness work to date has been focussed on the hospital setting. This project would engage the Northern Ireland Ambulance Trust, primary care, district nursing, community pharmacists and midwifery in striving to improve early detection and management of sepsis.

With the focus of this proposal in having a standardised approach to sepsis awareness across Northern Ireland, it is proposed to engage with the relevant undergraduate and postgraduate training organisations to ensure it is embedded into education and training programmes.

Regional promotional material will be developed to support the campaign.

Benefits we hope to achieve

To have a well-established and regional approach to sepsis awareness. The awareness materials are proposed to be sustainable and used locally to spread improvement in sepsis identification and management.

Staff working between or transferring to other Trusts will work with a standardised set of resources.

Improved staff awareness of the early recognition and prompt management of sepsis.

Develop a community of local champions within each Trust and a regional network of professionals to share learning and sustain improvement.

Improve how we measure compliance.

Learning from patient experience and their stories.

Improving the understanding of sepsis identification and management outside of the acute hospital setting.

Benefits for the Q Community

Access to promotional materials that could be locally adapted.

Learning from how a regional collaborative can develop spread of learning resources. This learning would be transferrable to any specific area of care.

Learning from the experience of how this project has collaborated between acute, primary and community care components.

How you can contribute

  • We need your support for the proposal
  • Experience of other Q members working in sepsis improvement

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