NHS England’s report into blood culture practices outlines key improvement steps in the pre-analytical phase of the blood culture pathway. Through targeted recommendations to trust chief executives, clinical and pathology staff, we have an opportunity to improve the blood culture pathway, antimicrobial stewardship and patient outcomes from sepsis.
This document sets out proposals to improve and standardise the pre-analytical phase of the blood culture pathway. It details the outputs of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) diagnostics improvement workstream at NHS England and NHS Improvement, and examines the required changes to improve existing processes within the blood culture pathway. It concludes with a set of recommendations for best practice.
NHS England and NHS Improvement make the following four recommendations for improving the blood culture pathway:
- Build upon existing national guidance and best practice.
- Implement local monitoring to identify areas for improvement.
- AMR to be a core part of clinical leadership and trust governance.
- Improve regulation and accreditation.