Policy briefing

National Early Warning Score update

In December 2017, the Royal College of Physicians updated the National Early Warning Score to improve identification of ill patients.

In December 2017 the Royal College of Physicians updated the National Early Warning Score to improve identification of ill patients.

Essential facts

The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) was developed by the Royal College of Physicians to improve the identification of acutely ill patients, including those with sepsis. A score is allocated to six physiological measurements, already recorded in routine practice, to gain an aggregate overall score. The original NEWS was published in 2012, with a new version, NEWS2, launched in December 2017. The updated version improves escalation in patients with chronic hypoxaemia and includes acute delirium or confusion within assessments.

What’s new

Every hospital and ambulance service in England has been asked to use the NEWS system by March next year (2019). Already used by 70% of hospitals, increasing this further will mean NHS staff who

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