PERFORMANCE: Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Foundation Trust has introduced a new patient deterioration warning system - the National Early Warning Score, or NEWS.

The standardised colour coded “trigger and escalation” tool was put forward last year by a collaboration between the royal colleges of physicians and of nursing.

A statement says: “Every hospital bed has a chart that is used to record measurements such as the patient’s pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature. These measurements help the nursing and medical teams decide the severity of illness of the patient and if the patient needs more urgent care.

“At present, NHS Trusts across the UK use different early warning systems with different charts. As doctors and nurses move around different hospitals during their training and careers, they are not familiar with each trust’s system, resulting in a lack of consistency in detecting and responding to acutely ill patients.”

Chief nurse Karen Dunderdale said: “The NEWS scheme was launched last year and we decided to implement it as early as possible because it can have a crucial impact on patient safety.”