Spotlight on sepsis: your stories, your rights

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It can affect anyone of any age. It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs. Sepsis is sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning.

According to the UK Sepsis Trust, 48,000 people in the UK die of sepsis every year. This number can and should be reduced. It is often treatable if caught quickly.

We've looked at some of the sepsis complaints people have brought to us, to shine a light on their experiences and encourage others to let their voices be heard.

Your stories, your rights

The following case summaries show some of the themes we found in the most serious complaints about sepsis. These include delays in diagnosis and treatment, poor communication and record-keeping, and missed opportunities for follow-up care.

Where we found failings, we looked at how these affected the patients and their families, and what the organisation needed to do to address them.

We hope the stories and guidance in this report will help more people share their experiences and understand their right to complain.

Our experience gives us evidence every day of the power of complaints. They can make a real difference by:

  • showing how the issues they raise affect people’s lives
  • helping organisations to learn from mistakes and improve services for everyone.