Deteriorating patients

Our deteriorating patient workstream supports teams across the South West to reduce avoidable harm and enhance the outcomes and experiences of deteriorating patients and residents in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Recognising deterioration in a timely manner can help to prevent sepsis, a life-threatening illness caused by the body’s overwhelming response to infection.

The work of the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN)’s Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme is centred on patients and residents in acute and community settings with the aim of improving the recognition of - and response to - deterioration, reducing associated harm such as sepsis, as well as mortality in adults.

Managing patients who are deteriorating from COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 has raised significant challenges for acute and community settings, their staff, patients and residents. These include understanding the presentation of the disease, requirements to social distance, and a move to virtual appointments.

During the COVID-19 epidemic the SW AHSN is focused on ensuring that those caring for people in higher risk categories, including residents in care homes, have the skills and support to confidently identify signs of deterioration, and work effectively with other practitioners to swiftly escalate these patients to the right care and treatment, at the right time, and in the right place.

With our partners across Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we are working to support care homes, domiciliary care staff and carers to access targeted deterioration training on use of RESTORE2TM, a physical deterioration and escalation tool designed for use in care and nursing homes and currently being used in a number of care homes and by domiciliary carers across the South West.

This training is complimented by weekly GP-led Q&A calls which provide an opportunity for staff and carers to have their deterioration and COVID-19-related questions answered, as well as receive links to the most up-to-date COVID-19 resources and guidelines.

Find out more about this training and how your care setting can benefit here.

National Early Warning Score (NEWS2)

The RESTORE2TM tool incorporates the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2, a tool developed by the Royal College of Physicians to improve the detection and response to clinical deterioration in adult patients in hospital in England. NEWS has also been adapted for non-acute settings.

Through standardisation of NEWS2 and related tools, we can increase the number of patients who receive the right care at the right time and in the right place should they deteriorate, which has the potential to save over 1,800 lives a year. Using a common tool like NEWS2 improves patient safety by creating a common language between practitioners that can prevent confusion and reduce variation in practice across care settings.

Deteriorating Patient Improvement Network

The South West Academic Health Science Network hosts the Deteriorating Patient Improvement Network (DPIN), which supports projects to plan, deliver and monitor deteriorating patient and residents across the South West. Find out more here.

Learn more

For more information about our deteriorating patient workstream please contact patientsafety@swahsn.com