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Young victims of meningitis have been recognised in a new quality standard for bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia, produced by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), and published today.
However, we are highlighting that publication is just first step in the fight to ensure survivors are not suffering alone and commits to supporting health professionals in implementing and adhering to the standard.
Babies and children under five account for around half of the 3,400 cases of bacterial meningitis reported every year in the UK¹ and up to 40% of those who survive are left with some form of after-effect. Around 500,000 people in the UK right now have had either bacterial or viral meningitis and many may be struggling with the impact.
Today’s new quality standard outlines 14 quality statements for the diagnosis, treatment and support of the diseases, with one of particular interest to the Meningitis Trust’s work in ensuring victims do not suffer alone. Quality statement 12 highlights the need for survivors and their families to be provided with disease and support information before their discharge from hospital (quality statement 12).
Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust says: "We are really pleased that this new quality standard has been published and that it includes the recognition of the long-term impact of meningitis and the victim’s needs.
"Our focus is on making sure that no-one has to suffer alone and we would like to work with hospitals and health professionals to help them achieve this standard as we are all committed to the on-going care of every victim of meningitis."
Results from a Meningitis Trust survey found that less that 25% of victims the charity supports are referred to its work by health professionals before the victim’s discharge from hospital – a number it is determined to increase with on-going work in securing its support information are automatically given out in hospitals, during or after every meningitis experience.
We are asking, in light of statement 12 from the standard, for all hospitals across the UK to signpost victims and their families to the Meningitis Trust and its free information and community based support, as well as urging people who may know of someone suffering from the impact of the disease to put them in touch with the charity.
The Meningitis Trust, as the only organisation focused on supporting victims of meningitis, provides life-changing support to 20,000 people every year through its range of free services and community support – helping people when, where and how they need it.
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