Deteriorating patients and rapid response initiative of the year


The desire to preserve life throughout the covid-19 pandemic has meant that the prominence of those working to respond quickly to the deteriorating patient has never been under more scrutiny. However, aside from covid-19 complications, a failure to speedily spot the sometimes-subtle signs of a patient’s deteriorating condition can be a major cause of avoidable harm in healthcare. Diagnosing potentially deadly issues such as sepsis or acute kidney injury – or speedily recognising the predictors of cardiopulmonary arrest or acute heart failure – involves consideration of a range of information. For harm to be avoided, it is also necessary to have clear processes in place to alert the right clinician to the issue at the right time.

The award will recognise individuals or teams of clinicians such as rapid response/medical emergency/critical care outreach teams, resuscitation or similar services that have demonstrably improved care processes and outcomes of deteriorating patients or patients at-risk of deterioration. This could include identification and care of acutely ill patients who are also at the end of life.


Entries are welcomed from across the NHS and public sector health and social care system, from groups who have proactively identified and addressed issues relating to deterioration in a specific cohort of patients.


  • Identify the need for improvement in care and what steps were taken to put this initiative in place
  • Describe the project or initiative, including an outline of the goals set, what checks and balances were in place, and how success could be measured
  • Explain how the initiative was informed by existing best practice or evidence surrounding the recognition and rapid prevention of patient deterioration


  • Evidence that safety has improved as a direct result of the initiativ
  • This must include a quantitative aspect  and can cover any aspect of patient deterioration but can also include qualitative measures such as patient feedback.
  • Evidence the patient safety work has directly contributed to the delivery of consistently high-quality care
  • What other benefits have been realised as a result of the project?


  • How have your team worked within your organisation to disseminate the success of this initiative? Are the achievements being replicated or scaled within other departments, specialisms or organisations?
  • Alternatively, provide clear evidence that the work is potentially replicable and scalable.


  • Demonstrate how the initiative has enhanced quality, the patient experience or ability of staff to manage care more effectively
  • Outline to what extent the initiative has helped deliver financial value as well as value to the patient.
  • Provide testimonials from patients and stakeholders to help support the entry.


  • Show how patients are involved in decisions around their care, and how their views were embedded in the design of the initiative
  • Evidence how a multidisciplinary approach was taken, with all relevant parties fully engaging in the work. This should include managers, medics and nurses as well as patients and families.
  • Provide detailed evidence which supports a culture in which all members of staff can raise concerns and make suggestions for improvements
Deteriorating patients and rapid response initiative of the year

To find out more

Contact Ryan Bessent for information on how to get involved with the Patient Safety Awards 2021 on 0207 608 9045 or email at ryan.bessent@wilmingtonhealthcare.com