NEW research has revealed that NHS hospitals in our region are massively under-reporting cases of the killer illness sepsis, which kills 37,000 people a year in the UK.

According to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis the North-East has the highest average number of cases of sepsis reported by each individual hospital trust.

Ironically, despite finishing top of the heap in England with 551 cases per NHS trust in 2013-14, the researchers praised the North-East for reporting more of their cases than any other region in England.

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The researchers said they would expect around 5,200 cases a year in the North-East, reflecting the population of around 2.6m

But the actual figure recorded for the four unidentified North-East hospital trusts is 2,204, closer to 50 per cent of this figure.

Yorkshire and the Humber hospitals reported an average of 284 cases of sepsis per trust, well below the level the researchers expected to find.

The researchers were also surprised that in the North-East only 168 patients were recorded as being diagnosed with septic shock over the four year survey, a much lower number than expected.

The research also showed that only three out of the four North-East trusts surveyed had a mechanism for recording sepsis or septic shock.

Seven out of the 12 Yorkshire and Humber trusts surveyed had no mechanism for recording sepsis or septic shock.

Sarah Newton MP, chair of the group, said: “Sepsis is a major killer and the first step to fighting it is recording it properly. There is huge room for improvement in how trusts record sepsis and sepsis deaths.”