Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection becomes uncontrolled and injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death if not recognised early and treated effectively.14,000 deaths could be avoided in the UK every year if sepsis was recognised and treated more effectively.
Fixing sepsis is a multi-disciplinary responsibility because sepsis crosses boundaries between specialities, professions and services. Staff training is vital to improve detection and treatment of sepsis. This case study describes how Colchester General Hospital uses an educational board game to help staff beat sepsis.
The Sepsis Game
The Sepsis Game is an educational board game designed in collaboration with UK Sepsis Trust and NHS England for frontline clinical staff and support workers. It is an exciting, unusual and effective way for staff to learn about sepsis.
The game is designed for between 4 and 12 players divided into two competing teams. It takes around 45 - 60 minutes to play and can be used in any care setting; all you need is a table and some chairs. The rules are very simple and the facilitator doesn’t need sepsis expertise. The game is essentially self-regulating and the facilitator can take a passive role in the game.
Each game contains a pack of scenario cards designed to stimulate discussions that raise awareness and improve care delivery skills around sepsis. The scenario and question cards vary in complexity which allows you to design each game to match the competency levels and needs of the players.
An online version of the game has been developed and it is a simplified version of the board game. The online game is free to play via the Sepsis Game website.
Colchester General Hospital
Colchester General Hospital is a medium sized teaching hospital with approximately 560 beds and is the main acute site for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust. The hospital provides a range of elective and nonelective inpatient surgical and medical services as well as a 24-hour A&E, maternity and outpatient services to a surrounding population of around 370,000.
The Sepsis Screening Tool and the Sepsis Six Care Bundle were first introduced here in 2013, and mandatory training was introduced in the form of teaching sessions and an e-learning package. Although this training was completed by all staff, it was thought that a more interactive style of teaching would be better suited for the newer members of the team during their induction programme.
The Sepsis Game was introduced into the Trust in 2015. Since its introduction, there has been nothing but positive feedback. The board game has now been rolled out across the Trust and is used in study days with all grades of staff.
Helen Hodkinson is a Sepsis Specialist Nurse within the hospital and Helen uses the game regularly:
“I cannot praise the board game enough. It has been wonderfully designed and I would not teach without it. It allows far more interaction between me and the audience than ever before. This is very rewarding as it sparks conversations and some very interesting comments. I have learnt a lot about sepsis since using the board game and look forward to using it in the future.”
Staff that play the game are equally enthusiastic about the experience:
“The game is fantastic and I have learnt so much”
“I have a much better understanding of sepsis and loved the board game”
“WOW! What an amazing game!!”
“This is a really good way to teach sepsis, it has let us think outside the box too”
“I have really enjoyed the game and learnt so much about sepsis statistics”
“The timer questions are brilliant, they made us laugh and we have definitely learnt something new”
Learn More :
You can learn more about the board game and also play the online version at thegame’s website, www.SepsisGame. co.uk