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'Common language' system improves care across North West Coast

2 May 2019

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A system for assessing whether a patient’s condition is deteriorating has been rolled out across the North West Coast – thanks to the Innovation Agency.

NEWS2 is the latest version of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), a points system that helps improve the detection of clinical deterioration. 

NEWS, which was first produced in 2012 and then updated by the Royal College of Physicians in 2017, is an approach to standardising the assessment of, and response to, acute illness. It consists of a scoring system based on a number of simple criteria which helps improve the detection of clinical deterioration in patients.

Endorsed by NHS England and NHS Improvement for use in acute and ambulance settings, the implementation of NEWS2 is being facilitated across England through the 15 Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs), which are managed and delivered by the AHSNs. Locally, all acute hospitals and the ambulance trust within the North West Coast region have adopted or are in the process of adopting NEWS2. 

The aim is for NEWS2 to become the ‘common language’ for communicating patient deterioration across the whole system and its use is now being explored in out-of-hospital settings as well, again with the support of the Patient Safety Collaborative. 

One of the trusts that has successfully implemented NEWS2, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been working with the Innovation Agency. Rachael Browning, Assistant Chief Nurse for Clinical Effectiveness, said: “Having the support of the Innovation Agency when we implemented NEWS2 was great. They helped us raise the profile of the Trust and provided a platform for us to share the resources we have produced to support other organisations.

“This didn’t just happen on a local level – Warrington and Halton Hospitals received national recognition when we presented on the NHS Improvement webinar and more recently when the Trust was included in the Royal College of Physicians and NHS England implementation resource for NEWS2.”

Photo: Rachael Browning, Suzanne Peacock and Jerome McCann, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

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