Sepsis is triggered by an infection, where the body’s immune system goes into overdrive, setting off a series of reactions that can lead to organ failure, and in some cases, death.

Efforts to reduce Sepsis has been a priority for NHS England. In 2015 NHS England brought together the Academy, Royal Colleges, the UK Sepsis Trust and others to advise on how best to improve the recognition and treatment of sepsis. This new action plan published in December 2015 sets out what we need to do to drive improvements for patients with sepsis.

The Academy will continue to provide advice and input as this goes forward.

One of the key recommendations for Medical Royal Colleges is for appropriate antibiotic use. As evidence about effectiveness of antibiotics in treating severe sepsis becomes clearer, guidelines, recommendations and training materials will be refreshed by Colleges.

The Academy has also endorsed new international consensus definitions of sepsis drawn up by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine.