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Welsh Government approach to sepsis “lacklustre”

Welsh Government efforts to tackle sepsis are “lacklustre” and in “desperate” need of a targeted-driven strategy, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives has said.

The accusation came after an exchange in First Minister’s Questions (FMQs), held today in the National Assembly Chamber.

Following a challenge from Andrew RT Davies, Carwyn Jones refused to commit to a target on reducing sepsis-related deaths, which Mr Davies pointed out had claimed the lives of 1,500 people across Wales in the last year alone.

Sepsis is responsible for 15 times the number of people killed in road traffic accidents.

This fact was highlighted by the Conservative leader who questioned its disproportionality and asked repeatedly why there was no strategy for tackling sepsis, comparable to the one which has helped bring down road deaths.

Speaking outside the Assembly Chamber, Andrew RT Davies said the time for “warm words” was over and that more targeted action was needed:

“The Welsh Labour Government’s approach to tackling this lethal issue has been lacklustre. Sepsis remains a real threat in Welsh hospitals and is responsible for far too many deaths, which with proper screening and education can be avoided.

“Warm words alone will not beat this silent killer and the Labour administration desperately needs to implement a target-led strategy geared towards eradicating the condition completely.

“Key to this strategy will be the swift implementation of standardised screening protocols and educating patients and clinicians alike to recognise the early signs of sepsis so that they can be treated as soon as possible.

“That the First Minister has refused to commit to a target for bringing down the number of sepsis-related deaths shows how little confidence he has in his own health service which is deeply troubling.”