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NEWS2 released

NEWS2 or the updated National Early Warning Score was released by the Royal College of Physicians in December 2017.

NEWS is used to improve the recognition of severity of illness in unwell patients and trigger escalation of care. NEWS has been shown to be good at identifying early when a patient’s health is worsening, and therefore NHS England and NHS Improvement have now recommended that the NEWS is used across the health system so that every organisation takes the same approach to identifying and grading illness severity in adult patients. This also means that communication across organisations is standardised, leading to improved safety when patients move between care providers.

Like all quality improvement projects we expect this tool to continue to evolve, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) encouraged user experience feedback to identify areas of improvement. Two key areas of improvement were identified which NEWS2 aims to address. These include; the risk of giving too much oxygen to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients, and its unreliability in patients spinal cord injuries.

The core principles of the NEWS, the scoring system and the thresholds and triggers remain unchanged however there are three key changes that should enhance the usability, safety and performance of the NEWS. The West of England AHSN support the RCP recommendation to move to the updated NEWS2 model.

Read our briefing which highlights the key changes to help inform local discussions.

The Royal College of Physicians have published an executive summary as well as a full report which can be found here.

To learn more about our implementation of NEWS across all handovers of care in the West of England, visit or come along to our next NEWS event in March 2018 where we will be discussing the evaluation of NEWS and how we look to implement NEWS2.

For a short summary of our work around NEWS project, watch this video:


Posted on February 7, 2018

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