New physical health early warning tool launches

We know how important it is to look after our service users' mental health, but it's crucial to look after their physical health too. 

We're delighted to be rolling out a new tool that will give us an early warning on any deterioration in our service users' physical health. 

The National Early Warning Score, also referred to as NEWS2, is replacing our current Early Warning Score and will help standardise the physical health observations staff carry out. The tool is one that has been used across the NHS in acute hospital trusts, and is a proven method to help us provide the highest quality care to our service users. 

It works by providing a score based on six key areas:

  • respiration rate
  • oxygen saturation
  • systolic blood pressure
  • pulse rate
  • level of consciousness or new confusion
  • temperature

In our most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, inspectors told us that we needed to do more work to address physical health and during our Back to Good work staff have also told us they need more support in this area.

Previously our physical health observations have been paper-based and was carried out differently by individual teams. The NEWS2 tool will standardise our approach and ensure that our physical health assessments are carried out digitally to provide live information that can be used to take timely action if necessary. 

Over the next couple of months staff are being trained on how to use the new tool and will begin to use it, starting with our inpatient wards.

You can read more about NEWS2 by clicking here