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Embedding the National Early Warning Scheme in Care Homes

The National Early Warning Scheme, referred to as NEWS2 ( the ‘2’ refers to a revised edition of the initial scheme that was first introduced in 2012), is widely recognised as the single standardised system used as a basis for determining the severity of a patient’s condition when suffering from an acute illness.

It is widely used across the NHS especially in acute care and ambulance settings.

Over the last few months colleagues across the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS), have been working with staff from several care homes in the region to implement the NEWS2 system in those settings - which is believed to be one of the first ICS’s nationally to incorporate such a scheme - across both health and social care settings.

It is also another example of how the ICS is creating improvement for patients across health and social care settings across the Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey areas.  

NEWS2 requires a patient’s key physical observations to be measured and recorded – covering 6 areas: Pulse rate; blood pressure; respiratory rate; O2 saturation levels; temperature and conscious level, each of which is scored separately.

ICS project manager, Mandy Holdstock said: “We’ve had an excellent response from the care homes across the system. NEWS2 gives care home staff who have undertaken the training, the confidence to identify deterioration in their residents earlier.  This training is recognised by health and social care settings across the ICS geography, and so enhances an individual’s professional standing, allowing colleagues who have received the training to use those skills in other health and social care organisations.”

The scheme being rolled out to more care homes, launched on 16 May. To date, 109 staff from 38 care homes across the ICS geography have attended the training.

For more details on NEWS2 click on this link to the Royal College of Physicians:
https://www.westhampshireccg.nhs.uk/download.cfm?doc=docm93jijm4n4147.pdf&ver=8380

Frimley Health and Care