NHS England and NHS Improvement have formally encouraged use of the NEWS2 system in the NHS. NEWS2 is an updated version of the early warning system which was introduced in 2012. It is an aggregate scoring system in which a score is allocated to physiological measurements, already recorded in routine practice, when patients present to, or are being monitored in hospital. The system is currently used by 7 in 10 acute trusts.

Since its first introduction in 2012, the system has been ‘a global success story, with requests to use NEWS coming from health services across the world’. The updated version, NEWS2, was launched just before Christmas and has been approved by NHS England to be used nationally. Should trusts fail to adopt the system by April 2019, they could lose a percentage of their income.