Financial & Legal News

Panorama Shines the Spotlight on the UK’s Sepsis Crisis

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Investigative Reporter Alistair Jackson’s investigation into the death of his mother on Monday night’s Panorama provided a disturbing insight into the epidemic of sepsis in the UK and, even more disturbingly, the NHS’ reaction to it.


Jackson’s mother passed away nearly three years ago, she was a fit and active lady loving life and enjoying retirement with her family until one morning she woke up experiencing abdominal pain, a raised temperature and a raised pulse. Despite her husband getting her to hospital without delay there were errors in her care and treatment, which sadly contributed to her death. There was a failure by her treating Clinicians to suspect sepsis and commence appropriate antibiotic treatment. Jackson spoke with medical professionals as part of his investigations, they clarified that it was entirely possible that his mother’s chances of survival would have been improved with prompter treatment.  


Patients are still dying because standards within hospitals are not being met. Sepsis is more deadly than breast, bowel and prostate cancer put together, yet statistics (provided by Hospital Trusts) show that more than 50% of patients who present with signs of sepsis are not getting the treatment they need within the recommended timeframe. Sepsis is not a new phenomenon, it has been a spiralling problem in the UK for more than 10 years. Whilst the government recognises that there is a problem, not enough is being done to protect patients. The longer it takes to implement effective and comprehensive protocols, processes and pathways within all UK hospitals, the more patients will die unavoidably.


Jacqueline White, Medical Negligence Solicitor at Pearson Solicitors commented:-

"Training is key to maintaining patient safety. All clinical staff must be aware of the signs of sepsis and the need for rapid action/treatment. They must also feel able to escalate their concerns to senior staff so that the patient gets the best chance of survival. The government, NHS Trusts and the families of patients (and their representatives) must all work together to bring about change. Sepsis does not have to be a silent killer. Whilst many Hospital Trusts are being candid about sepsis statistics and working hard to make improvements, more needs to be done. I admire people like Alistair Jackson, people whose families have been torn apart by the death of loved ones from sepsis, for their dignity, strength and determination to bring about change so that other families do not have to go through what they have been through".


For further help, please contact our Medical Negligence Team on 0161 785 3500 or email















Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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Written by Jacqueline White


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