NEWS | National early warning score

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National Early Warning Score

Welcome to the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) online training resource.
This website provides an opportunity to learn about the implementation and use of the new National Early Warning Score system which is now being introduced across the NHS.

Here you will be able to access online training in how to fill in the forms and effectively operate the new National Early Warning Score System. Here you will find downloadable forms and information notices as well as a facility to print out a personal certificate showing that you have successfully completed the training.

Please note that NEWS is designed for use in adults aged 16 years and above. NEWS is not recommended for use in children or during pregnancy.


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National Early Warning Scorecard

National Early Warning Score (NEWS) provides national guidance in standardisation of critical signs for patients in the acute setting. For an acutely unwell patient, a fast, efficient and consistent response is essential to optimise clinical outcomes. A number of national reports have highlighted the importance of early warning scores and several approaches are in use nationwide. The recommendations from the National Early Warning Scores Development and Implementation Group (NEWSDIG), do not advocate a radical shift in the method of assessment of illness severity, they consolidate the information from existing systems. The novel element is the standardisation and clarity of purpose

The underlying rationale for NEWS is to encourage the adoption of this standardised approach across the NHS. This rationale anticipates delivery of healthcare to acutely ill patients will be substantially improved by the routine embedding of simple and consistent systems based on: A systematic method of measuring physiological parameters to allow early recognition of those with acute illness and; The definition of the appropriate speed and scale of clinical response required, tailored to the level of acute illness severity.

Following the NEWSDIG "Standardising the Assessment of Acute Illness Severity in the NHS" report and recommendations in February 2011, a working group was established in collaboration with NHS Training for Innovation (TFI), the National Outreach Forum (NOrF), the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Physicians, London. With extensive clinical input from these organisations, NHS Training for Innovation was able to utilise their unique skills and experience to create the practical, user friendly material and training tools necessary for the introduction and rapid national uptake of this much improved, standardised early warning system. The group developed generic early warning observation, scores and response guidance charts together with the web-based e-learning tools found here.


Derek Bell

Professor of Acute Medicine at Imperial College. Published on various aspect of acute health care and deputy chairman of NEWS Royal College of Physicians London Working Group.

Rachel Binks

I qualified as an R.G.N. in 1986 at St. James’s Hospital, Leeds and spent a year staffing on the Observation Ward attached to Accident & Emergency before moving to the Intensive Care Unit. I have worked within the Intensive Care Arena since 1987 and spent a year nursing in Sydney, Australia in 1991.

In Leeds I worked as a staff nurse and sister on ICU before taking on Practice Development in 1996, and becoming Senior Nurse – Effective Practice for the Critical Care Division in 1999. I took up my present post as Nurse Consultant at Airedale in December 2000.

Since moving to Airedale, I have introduced an Early Warning Scoring System (EWS) for recognising patients who are becoming acutely ill and have developed an algorithm and calling criteria for the response. Since April 2007, I have led a 24/7 nursing team whose role is to respond to these patients, prevent further deterioration and educate staff in caring for the acutely ill and complex patient. I have been involved in the development of the National Early Warning Scoring System (NEWS) due to be published in November.

I have been a member of the steering committee for the RCN Critical Care Forum since 2003 and have held the position of chair since 2006.

I have led the Northern Regional Clinical Practice Benchmarking group since 1999, having been involved in writing the Essence of Care Benchmarks.

I was a member of the scoping group for the NICE guideline on the Acutely Ill Patient and am actively involved in the Intensive Care Standards and Quality committee.

Lesley Durham

Lesley has spent over 25 years at the coal face in critical care and outreach and is now Director for the North of England Critical Care Network. Her previous role as Nurse Consultant in Critical Care & Clinical Lead for Outreach and Follow-up Services at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Lesley describes as ‘one of the best jobs ever’!

Lesley was elected, and had the privilege of serving as Chair of the National Outreach Forum (NOrF) between 2006 and 2010. As the immediate past chair and active Executive Board member, Lesley remains committed to providing vision, drive and facilitation to achieve the development of NOrF as a recognised body representing and informing clinicians, patients and carers on all aspects of Critical Care Outreach within the United Kingdom.

Lesley believes emphatically that since their introduction, ‘Critical Care Outreach’ services and the introduction of ‘Early Warning Scores’ have made an immense and invaluable contribution to the quality and effectiveness of care for critically and acutely ill patients in hospital.

Nicholas Blackwell

In addition to research into medical e-learning at the University of Leicester and Tokyo Medical University, as well as managing director of OCB Media , Dr. Blackwell has been the project lead on over 50 e-learning resources over the past 15 years and has won six e-learning awards, including three awards from the British Medical Association for e-learning development.

Specialist fields include the use of simulation and clinical scenarios in training, learning management system development and user interface design, as well as research into the evidence base supporting the development of learning models in e-learning.

Training for Innovation (TFI) was set up in 2006 as a national body with funding from the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry. Our mission is to help create and disseminate innovative training tools to further accelerate adoption of new healthcare technologies in the NHS. We work in partnership with NHS, academic, educational and medical device companies to encourage knowledge exchange and promote best practice in medical technology training


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