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Pioneering nurse praised for his sepsis treatment

01 August 2016

Health Care

A charge nurse from Southend University Hospital’s emergency department has been featured in a celebration of nursing innovations from across the region.

Matthew Osborne has helped create new "care pathways" - or treatment plans - to help give often seriously ill patients the most effective care.

His work has now been featured in the Nursing Standard journal along with other pioneering work by nurses across the East of England.

The care pathways ensure that when faced with a patient with a particular condition or set of symptoms, staff working in the emergency department have a set list of checks and treatments to follow to help make sure they get the best care and time is used effectively to allow more patients to be seen quickly.

One care pathway which Matt helped develop is for sepsis, which if not treated quickly can lead to organ failure and death. It is responsible for up to 40,000 deaths annually.

Matt and his team believed a simple assessment tool and treatment plan for all emergency department staff to follow would help tackle the problem of insufficient knowledge of early sepsis treatment and recording of the condition in hospital.

Matt said: "We now identify and treat over 91% of sepsis patients within the first hour of their arrival in the emergency department, and the tool has been so successful it has been adopted and rolled out across the Trust. In the last seven months I have designed and launched 12 new pathways for serious and life-threatening conditions and several others are in the pipeline."

Professor John Kinnear, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Critical Care Medicine at Southend University Hospital, said: "We introduced the pathway in the Emergency Department in September 2015, and have subsequently begun to roll out a similar sepsis pathway for inpatients on the hospital wards. We have also updated our pathway to incorporate the newly released NICE guidelines."

"We are monitoring the longer term effects of the introduction of this pathway in both ED and the ward environments, and will be undertaking detailed analysis of how this introduction has benefitted our patients to enable us to further improve treatments and outcomes for patients with sepsis."

Yvonne Blucher, Chief Nurse at Southend University Hospital, added: "This is a great innovation led by nursing at Southend and puts patients at the heart of demonstrating compassionate and safe care."