A reduced life expectancy amongst people with serious mental illness mainly attributed to treatable physical health illnesses is now widely acknowledged as one of the greatest health challenges of our times. Mental health staff need to feel confident and competent in the assessment and treatment of both the physical and mental health needs of their patients and this has been highlighted in The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a track and trigger system originally introduced in 2012 to healthcare settings in the NHS and across the world. It is now common practice within mental health settings and has become an integral part of enhancing the assessment and treatment of the physical health needs of people within mental health settings.
NEWS enables a standardised assessment that is immediately understood within and between services.
Following a significant review in December 2017 NEWS2 was released. Feedback from users as well as peer reviewed research publications, evaluating and validating the use of NEWS in a variety of NHS settings was part of this update.
Why do we use NEWS2?
NEWS2 is used to improve the following:
- The assessment of acute illness severity
- The detection of clinical deterioration
- The initiation of a timely competent clinical response
What has changed in NEWS2?
- The chart has been updated and is now aligned to the Resuscitation council (UK) ABCDE
- The ranges of the boundaries for each parameter score are now shown on the chart for ease of calculation.
- The Oxygen saturation score have now separated into two sections: Scale 1 and Scale 2. Scale 2 has been introduced for patients with Hypercapnic respiratory failure – sometimes referred to as ‘type 2’ respiratory failure and the most common cause is COPD.
- The importance of considering serious sepsis in patients is emphasised.
- The AVPU score has now become ACVPU with the inclusion of “New Confusion”. This would include disorientation, delirium or any new alteration to mental state.
- The chart has a new colour scheme, as the original red/amber/green were not idea for staff with red/green colour blindness
Created in collaboration with My Care Academy
NEWS2 has been introduced to C&I and BEHMHT over the past few months in collaboration with My Care Academy and our Expert Service Group of people with lived experience plus Middlesex University. The MyCA NEWS2 content has been developed into units of bitesize learning to support the changeover to NEWS2 within both NHS Trusts.
- BEHMHT staff can access the NEWS2 online training through ESR.
- C&I staff can access the NEWS2 online training through Training Tracker.
Later in the year C&I staff will also be able to access the materials via ESR.
If you work in either of our partner NHS Trusts above please contact your Learning & Development teams for more details, you can also read more on your intranet about our partnership. Or get in touch with us directly via our contact form here.