National early warning score. Standardising the assessment of acute illness severity in the NHS – Royal College of Physicians – July 2012

Posted on August 1, 2012. Filed under: Acute Care, Educ for Hlth Professions | Tags: |

National early warning score. Standardising the assessment of acute illness severity in the NHS – Royal College of Physicians – July 2012

ISBN 978-1-86016-471-2
eISBN 978-1-86016-472-9

“Executive summary

Background

Early detection, timeliness and competency of clinical response are a triad of determinants of clinical outcome in people with acute illness. Numerous recent national reports on acute clinical care have advocated the use of so-called ‘early warning scores’ (EWS), ie ‘track-and-trigger systems’ to efficiently identify and respond to patients who present with or develop acute illness. A number of EWS systems are currently in use across the NHS, however, the approach is not standardised. This variation in methodology and approach can result in a lack of familiarity with local systems when staff move between clinical areas/hospitals – the various EWS systems are not necessarily equivalent or interchangeable. Put simply, when assessing acutely ill patients using these various scores, we are not speaking the same language and this can lead to a lack of consistency in the approach to detection and response to acute illness. This lack of standardisation also bedevils attempts to embed a culture of training and education in the assessment and response to acute illness for all grades of healthcare professionals across the NHS. Building upon recommendations in the RCP’s Acute Medicine Task Force report Acute medical care: the right person, in the right setting – first  time, published in 2007, the RCP commissioned a multidisciplinary group to develop a National Early Warning Score (NEWS).”

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National Early Warning Score (NEWS) online training resource

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