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Has the DH thought through the ‘sepsis audit’? Don’t be silly



One of the various reasons why so many of us are currently looking for the nearest bus to hurl politicians, or in their absence, ourselves, under, is the steady stream of diktats issued by the DH, which have to be fulfilled yesterday.

And this from a department that has failed to hit deadlines for just about every major initiative over the last year or two (think CQRS, care.data, the Patient Choice initiative, e-referrals etc, etc).

So, I have a few questions about their latest Grand Plan, the command that every practice should conduct a ‘sepsis audit’ by March:

-Why March? Why the rush? Why choose our busiest time of the year, when we’re mopping up the dregs of winter viruses, trying to use up the last of our flu jabs, cranking up towards the QOF deadline and digging the pit to put the vipers in underneath the CQC welcome mat?

-Do you guys really know what an ‘audit’ is? Do you understand about criteria, standards, data collection et al, in the context of this clinical area within primary care? Do you? Really? Liars.

-What in your brain isn’t working for you not to understand that forcing professionals to do things that are neither clinically sensible nor contractually prescribed is, like poking a dog with a stick, both cruel to us and dangerous for you?

-WTF is sepsis, anyway? It’s an ill-defined term, especially in primary care. A quick Google search reveals that some say it’s blood poisoning, others suggest it’s the body’s inflammatory response to infection, and yet others insist that it’s systemic illness caused by microbial invasion of normally sterile parts of the body. Any chance of clearing that confusion up sometime before March? Because that’s a pretty wide remit. You know what, don’t bother, because you’ll probably decide that what you really mean is for us to audit ‘bacterial infection’, which will clarify nothing other than your complete cluelessness about how general practice works.

-Why don’t you just bugger off?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield