Implementation and Evaluation of a Sepsis Pathway for General Practice - Pilot Study 

Sepsis is a life threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response. This results in the body’s response to infection injuring its own tissues and organs. There are an estimated 31.5 million episodes with an associated mortality of 5.3 million deaths worldwide annually. In Ireland there were 15,341 cases of sepsis documented in 2017 demonstrating an 16.6% increase in cases from 2016. 

While the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee has published National Clinical Guidelines on Sepsis Management adapted for specific patient groups (e.g. paediatric, maternity) and hospital settings (e.g. ED, wards), pathways of care for identification and management of adult patients with sepsis in other healthcare settings (e.g. pre-hospital care, community) remain to be developed. Furthermore, there is no mechanism to record sepsis in the community.  

The aim of the HSE GPSEP-way project is to pilot, implement and evaluate a primary care Sepsis Early Warning Score (EWS) in selected primary care sites in the Health Service Executive (HSE) South - South West Hospital Group with a view to national adoption. 

Project Management Group 

  • Dr. Elsa Droog, Research and Data Officer, S/SWHG 
  • Ms. Catherine O’Mahony, Hospital Group Lead for Sepsis, S/SWHG 
  • Dr. Maura Smiddy, Lecturer, School of Public Health, University College Cork (UCC) 

Project Collaborators 

  • Professor Orla Healy, Director of Strategy, Planning and Population Health, S/SWHG  
  • Ms. Bridie O’Sullivan, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, S/SWHG 
  • Dr. Martina Healy, National Clinical Lead for Sepsis 
  • Ms. Ciara Hughes, Programme Manager for DPIP and Sepsis 
  • Ms. Teresa O’Donovan, Head of Primary Care, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Organisation 
  • Prof. Colin Bradley, Head of Department of General PracticeUCC 
  • Dr. Paul Ryan, GP 
  • Dr. Ellen Hayes, General Practitioner, Dungarvan 
  • CDs/Deputies in South Doc and Care Doc 
  • Ms. Michelle Kerins, IT Care Doc 
  • Mr. Paul Gallen, Chief Ambulance Officer, NAS 
  • Dr. Alison Tavaré, GP Clinical Lead, West of England AHSN (External Advisor) 
  • Ms. Julie-Anne Mealy (Patient Representative) 


ESPRIT Research Group

UCC School of Public Health, Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork,