Sepsis is still killing too many patients due to the same hospital failings that occurred a decade ago, a damning report by the NHS ombudsman has warned.
Avoidable mistakes include delays in spotting and treating the condition, poor communication between health staff, sub-standard record keeping and missed opportunities for follow-up care, according to Rob Behrens, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman (PHSO).
Despite some progress since a previous report on sepsis by the ombudsman in 2013, lessons are not being learned and repeated mistakes are putting people at risk, Behrens said. Major improvements are urgently needed to avoid more fatalities, he added.
“I’ve heard some harrowing stories about sepsis through our investigations, and it frustrates and saddens me that the same mistakes we highlighted 10 years ago are still occurring,” said Behrens. “It is clear that lessons are not being learned. Losing a life through sepsis should not be an inevitability.”
Melissa Mead, whose one-year-old son, William, died from sepsis in 2014 after concerns were dismissed by doctors, said: “I think this report, nine years on from William’s death, really lays bare the incidences of sepsis cases.”
Mead, who peer-reviewed the study, added: “Too many lives are being lost in preventable circumstances.”
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Source: The Guardian, 25 October 2023
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