Resources for the detection and management of deterioration in adult patients


We will continue updating this list to provide you with helpful resources.

Royal College of Physicians (RCP)

National Early Warning Score

The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a common system for use across the NHS to lead progress in the assessment of and response to acute illness. It is accompanied by an e-learning tool and is due to be updated later in 2016.

Acute care toolkits

The RCP has also produced resources to support improvement of the delivery of acute care. They focus on a range of current problems and make recommendations for improving quality. These two are particularly relevant:

  • Acute care toolkit 6: The medical patient at risk: recognition and care of the seriously ill or deteriorating medical patient contains advice and examples of effective responses to the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) trigger system, including advice on resource and staff implications
  • Acute care toolkit 9: Sepsis provides an overview of sepsis, with useful definitions and stratification tools to support the management of this condition.

UK Sepsis Trust

The UK Sepsis Trust website hosts clinical toolkits covering a range of clinical settings.

The UK Sepsis Trust will support release of the NICE Clinical Guideline on sepsis with tools and resources including screening and action tools to aid with early identification and management of sepsis in children and adults (including in pregnancy) across community-based, prehospital and acute clinical environments.

NHS England

The NHS England cross-system sepsis programme board of experts from across the health and care system works to improve the identification, diagnosis and management of sepsis in children, young people and adults across the NHS.

Improving outcomes for patients with sepsis: A cross-system action plan highlights key challenges and issues, and summarises the actions health and care organisations will take to address them. It is for people working across the health and social care landscape including

NHS Improvement

The adult patient who is deteriorating: sharing learning from literature, incident reports and root cause analysis investigations’ from the patient safety team at NHS Improvement summarises and references previous work on the topic to ensure that future work focuses on current patterns of harm and their causes. It also addresses aspects of sepsis and includes suggestions for applying the learning locally.

Academic Health Science Networks

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) bring together academic bodies, industry and the NHS to collaborative on improving the health of the population and promoting clinical innovation.

There are 15 AHSNs covering England and some focus on deterioration and sepsis, eg West of England AHSN resource.

You can find out more about AHSNs on the NHS England website.

Royal College of Emergency Medicine


NICE has published guidelines that cover the recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis for all populations. The guideline committee identified that the key issues to be included were: recognition and early assessment, diagnostic and prognostic value of blood markers for sepsis, initial treatment, escalating care, identifying the source of infection, early monitoring, information and support for patients and carers, and training and education. 

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