• Run by Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Aimed to improve early sepsis management and antimicrobial stewardship in clinicians managing new cases of sepsis on the paediatric intensive care unit
  • Used an innovative intervention to positively reinforce, and share learning from, good practice in order to generate change and promote further good practice
  • Ran from January 2017 to April 2018

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in children. It is an abnormal response to infection that needs to be recognised early and treated promptly with the correct antibiotic.

Antibiotic stewardship is the processes of ensuring antibiotics are used safely and appropriately in order to reduce antibiotic resistance. This involves selecting the correct antibiotic at the start of treatment and de-escalating treatment as soon as possible.

This project from Birmingham Children’s Hospital aimed to improve early sepsis management and antimicrobial stewardship in paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients, and reduce antibiotic consumption by 5%.

It involved using an innovative intervention adapted from the Learning from Excellence (LfE) initiative. Four key process measures were identified, and excellence in these processes was identified and reported through LfE, providing formal positive feedback to clinicians. Selected reports were followed up with ‘appreciative inquiry’ interviews. Insights gained were shared to generate change across the wider team.

Following the intervention, use of antibiotics decreased by 6.5% from the equivalent period the previous year. There was also a 31% improvement in broad-spectrum antibiotic use.

There have been significant improvements in some processes, including gold-standard prescribing and antibiotic review. However, minimal improvements were made in other processes such as documentation of the decision to treat. The team found that the LfE interventions are more effective in smaller groups of staff, to reinforce activities that occur frequently.  

The project will continue beyond the funding period, but on a smaller scale within the PICU. The project has already started to expand outside the PICU.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Adrian Plunkett, Consultant Paediatric Intensivist, Birmingham Children's Hospital.

About this programme

Programme

Innovating for Improvement

Programme

This programme supports up to 23 projects with up to £75,000 to test and develop innovative ideas...

You might also like...

Podcast

After the COVID storm: Where next for the NHS?

Podcast

Episode 3. What is the long-term path for the NHS when the emergency phase of COVID is over? 

Press release

Government must put health at heart of nation’s pandemic recovery

Press release

The Health Foundation responds to the launch of Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review

Briefing

The impact of Extensive Care Service and Enhanced Primary Care in Fylde Coast

Briefing

This briefing explores IAUs evidence on how multidisciplinary teams may increase emergency hospital...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

RT @Reema__Patel: *****Job Klaxon! ***** New @AdaLovelaceInst Senior Researcher role on Justice and Equalities, which includes working wit…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more