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New report highlights variation in the management and treatment of sepsis

Infection prevention and control
13 September 2022

A new report released today by the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) highlights variation in the way sepsis is managed and monitored in New Zealand.

Commission clinical lead in the infection prevention and control programme, Dr Arthur Morris, says that the findings of a nationwide stocktake about the management of sepsis in Aotearoa New Zealand highlights the need for a coordinated national response to sepsis.

‘Early recognition and treatment of sepsis can save lives. Having a consistent, equitable approach to the detection, management and reporting of sepsis would make a real difference for patients and their whānau and the wider health care sector,’ he says.

The stocktake was designed to build a foundation for understanding sepsis management in Aotearoa New Zealand. It looked at the current clinical practices, guidance and protocols used at public hospitals, private surgical hospitals, ambulance services and a selection of emergency and urgent care clinics.

‘It’s timely that we are releasing this report on 13 September, which is also World Sepsis Day. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis and highlight this important patient safety issue,’ says Dr Morris.

The report makes several recommendations for action, which focus on keeping patients at the centre of sepsis planning, from prevention to post-discharge support. Other recommendations include:

  • creating a national steering group to progress the New Zealand National Sepsis Action Plan
  • standardising approaches to the prevention, recognition and treatment of sepsis
  • collecting and monitoring of data at a national and organisation level
  • establishing roles to improve sepsis management and outcomes
  • developing education and training
  • improving resources for consumers
  • increasing support for patients and their whānau after hospital discharge.

The Commission will review the findings and engage with key stakeholders to determine next steps, and identify quality improvement opportunities to support the progression of the National Sepsis Action Plan.

‘The Commission would like to thank everyone involved in the stocktake for giving their time so generously to this important work,’ says Dr Morris.

The report is available to download from the Commission’s website:

For more information about sepsis in Aotearoa New Zealand and the National Sepsis Action Plan visit the Sepsis Trust NZ website:

World Sepsis Day resources can be found on the World Sepsis Day website: