Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what guidance he plans to issue to commissioners and acute trusts on the development of collaborative care pathways for patients diagnosed with sepsis;
(2) what consideration his Department has given to the development of a national sepsis registry;
(3) what steps his Department is taking to measure outcomes and long-term health issues for patients diagnosed with sepsis;
(4) what steps his Department is taking to improve awareness of sepsis and to encourage early diagnosis;
(5) what representations his Department has received from health professionals and stakeholder organisations on the development by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of quality standards relating to treatment of sepsis;
(6) what assessment he has made of the potential effect on patient outcomes of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence quality standard on surgical site infection and sepsis.
Simon Burns (Minister of State (Health), Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
The Department supports existing international guidance on sepsis and although there is no specific guidance on sepsis this informed the Department's document “Start Smart Then Focus”. A copy has been placed in the Library. This recommends that if there is evidence of bacterial infection, local guidelines should be used to initiate prompt effective antibiotic treatment within one hour of diagnosis (or as soon as possible) in patients with life-threatening infections.
In addition, “Start Smart Then Focus” recommends auditing the time to treatment to ensure effective local performance. Information on sepsis is not collected centrally and there are no plans to develop a registry.
Quality Standards support better outcomes for patients by promoting improvement in the quality of national health service care. Quality Standards are derived from the best available evidence, such as National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance and other evidence sources accredited by NHS Evidence. A Quality Standard for Surgical Site Infection and Sepsis was referred to NICE in March 2012 and is in development.
The Department has received correspondence from the UK Sepsis Group on the development of an NHS Quality Standard relating to the treatment of sepsis. In 2011, NICE jointly with the National Quality Board ran an engagement exercise on the proposed library of NHS Quality Standards. Six organisations provided responses to the public consultation which referred to the treatment of sepsis.
The NHS Commissioning Board will be expected to use these standards to underpin the Commissioning Outcomes Framework which will be used to help raise awareness of this issue, improve patient safety and as the basis for producing guidance for commissioners.