In 2014, the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) in the Department of Health has published a National Clinical Guideline on Sepsis “Sepsis Management, National Clinical Guideline No.6”. This National Clinical Guideline has been accredited by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and is available on the Department of Health website. The Guideline is an adaptation of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guideline and the Sepsis 6 bundle, aligning these internationally recognised guidelines with the structures and functions of the Irish healthcare system. It informs pathways of care for patients with sepsis within all Irish medical disciplines.
This Guideline is currently being updated, which includes a review of the most recent international peer-reviewed evidence on the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.
Alongside this National Clinical Guideline, the HSE National Sepsis Programme was established in 2014. As part of this Programme, funding has been provided for the appointment of a National Clinical Lead for sepsis in Ireland and the appointment of a number of senior nurses to coordinate the National Sepsis Programme. The funding for these posts has been critical in driving the achievements of the National Programme and its activities in promoting sepsis diagnosis and awareness. Since 2015, the National Sepsis Programme has continued to be funded as part of the HSE annual National Service Planning process.
The National Sepsis Programme carries out important work to support the implementation of the National Sepsis Clinical Guideline, by bringing a focus on sepsis awareness and the promotion of early recognition of sepsis. While the initial focus of the HSE National Sepsis Programme was on raising awareness among healthcare staff, initiatives to raise awareness in the community have now commenced. These activities include sepsis awareness events in the community, such as at the National Ploughing Championships, education programmes with the Gardaí, and media features on national radio and TV. Additional community information sessions have taken place in shopping centres, public lectures in universities and with community groups.
Furthermore, with regard to promoting greater awareness regarding sepsis and its diagnosis, the HSE National Sepsis Programme has recently published a set of information materials on sepsis. These are now available on the HSE website (sepsis/programme documents and resources) and include a patient information booklet, patient information leaflet and educational tools for healthcare staff. The HSE National Sepsis Programme plans to circulate these new materials to healthcare establishments, including GP surgeries.
The HSE National Sepsis Programme also publishes a sepsis report every year and organises an annual Sepsis Summit, which brings together healthcare providers, patients and carers. A series of videos of patient experiences of sepsis has been compiled for the sepsis summit, which are used to raise awareness and are available on the HSE website.