Sepsis Toolkit

Sepsis is a rare life threatening condition that can develop rapidly from what might be otherwise innocuous infections. Recognising it at an early stage among the huge number of ordinary infections can be a challenge even to experienced clinicians.

Sepsis affected 123,000 people in England in 2014, resulting in approximately 37,000 deaths. 70% of cases derived from an infection developed in the community. It is estimated that there is potential to reduce deaths by up to 10,000 per annum by the optimisation of care

The Sepsis toolkit provides a collection of tools, knowledge, and current guidance to support the identifying and appropriate management of patients with sepsis. The toolkit is aimed at GPs and healthcare professionals assessing people in the community with acute infection. The resources also include information for patients and those close to them to look for when concerned about a sudden deterioration in a person’s health in the presence of infection.

Clinical resources and guidance for practices

The Sepsis Trust has created a range of resources to support clinicians in delivering the NICE guidelines. Similarly, GP clinical systems are being equipped to support clinicians by including the physiological values considered abnormal in the NICE Sepsis Guidelines.

Sepsis Trust decision support tools

The following resources are based upon the NICE Sepsis Guidance CG51

Top Tips for GPs and primary healthcare professionals

The top tips list was produced by participants at the RCGP Sepsis London workshop in November 2016.

Background information

  • Sepsis Trust Toolkit
  • National Early Warning Scoring system. Suggested by NCEPOD Report and others for potential use in General Practice, this has the value of providing a baseline recording of physiological variables and communicating risk and concern to secondary care colleague regarding sick adults. Its use as a screening tool in Primary Care is not established.

GP Clinical Systems

It is noted that all GP clinical systems have aide memoire and templates for the recording of physiology useful in the documentation patients who are unwell with infection. Although there has been no formal college input to the construction of these it is advised that clinicians consider use them. Their use is important not only in documenting the severely unwell with sepsis but also when recording when the signs of sepsis were absent and that appropriate safety netting has been given.

Ultimately it is hoped that these systems will also support the production of early warning scores, admission leaflets and patient / parent advice leaflets.

Quality Improvement

To access shared learning networks to assist you in applying practical QI methodologies to better treat this clinical area, join our QI Ready platform.

National reports and legislation

Below are some of the most significant national reports and documents relating to sepsis.

Significant national reports

International Definitions and NICE Guidance

Strategic Guidance

Resources for patients and carers

Recognising Sepsis

This is a challenge for trained clinicians as the signs and symptoms can be varied and subtle at the onset of sepsis. Patients, parents and carers often ask what they should look out for.



Resources for training and appraisal

Sepsis care and identification has been a focus of much attention with new definitions and guidelines. It is important that clinicians keep up to date.


There are scheduled events hosted by regional faculties, which feature sepsis treatment.  

E- learning

Health Education England and E-learning for Health have produced a suite of e-learning which has been endorsed by the RCGP. This e-learning incorporates both the new definitions for sepsis and recent NICE guidance.


The following presentations were used during the 2017 series of regional Sepsis workshops 

Manchester Sepsis Workshop 25 October 2017


Building Sepsis Aware Communities

Just Say Sepsis! Sepsis, Physiology and Communication

Suspect Sepsis? Communicating with Ambulance Services


Background and information for commissioners

The RCGP is currently working with Health Education England, NHS England and others to try and identify the areas of sepsis care which need to be in place to operationalise the recent guidance and strategic planning to create a uniform pathway for the recognition, diagnosis and definitive treatment of sepsis.

Please send any comments or suggestions to Any agreed updates will be made on a routine basis, unless immediately necessary for factual reasons.

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