Epidemiology of Sepsis in adults in Primary Care: an exploratory study using QResearch

What is the aim of the study and why is it important?

Blood poisoning or septicaemia is a serious infection with a high mortality. Spotting this illness early improves the outlook for patients. Most research has been done on patients once they arrive in hospital but it is important to help GPs recognise patients early in order for them to get prompt attention. Most patients seen with infection in primary care do not go on to develop this serious infection and so spotting serious illness is difficult. This research is a pilot study for a substantive study which aims to identify features of patients more likely to develop serious infection by using a large collection of routine data in primary care records and linked to the hospital records. This allows us to look for predictive features in those seen by GPs with suspected infections. We will also use the linked records to look back to the GP records to distinguish features of those who do not see their GP before admission or in whom infection is not suspected at all when they consult.

Chief Investigator

Michael Moore and Julia Hippisley-Cox (joint)



Location of research

University of Oxford and Southampton

Date on which research approved


Project reference ID


Generic ethics approval reference


Are all data accessed are in anonymised form?


Brief summary of the dataset to be released (including any sensitive data)

GP data linked to hospital admissions and mortality data to identify cases of sepsis and associated predictive risk factors including age, sex, chronic diseases (eg COPD, kidney failure, immunosuppression) and symptoms suggestive of infection recorded in the GP consultation.

Funding Source

NIHR School for Primary Care Research

Research Team

Julia Hippisley-Cox, Michael Moore, Beth Stuart

Share this