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Acting on sepsis

How our casework makes a difference : Acting on Sepsis banner image

​Our report Time to Act highlighted that faster diagnosis and treatment of sepsis could save thousands of lives. This has led to actions that will help improve outcomes for people with sepsis.

Sepsis occurs when infection overcomes the body’s defence mechanisms and progresses rapidly to life-threatening illness. It is a time-critical condition that claims 44,000 lives annually in the UK and many more are affected in the longer term.

In 2014, Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee held a one-off hearing on our report, Time to Act. Following our report’s recommendations, in July 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guideline to help NHS staff recognise and treat this life threatening condition more quickly. Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust also launched a national sepsis awareness campaign to help parents and carers of young children recognise the symptoms.

More recently, in September 2017, NICE published a new quality standard setting out priorities for treating cases of sepsis.

Read Time to Act for more about our work on sepsis.