ELLESMERE Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller has signed a pledge of support for efforts to tackle a relatively unknown illness which claims the lives of 37,000 people every year in the UK.

The event at Parliament was in support of World Sepsis Day, which is today. The campaign aims to raise awareness of a condition that kills more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Sepsis is the leading cause of infection around the world. It arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.

It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.

It is on the rise despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines, antibiotics, and acute care experts believe not enough is being done to save lives.

Andrew Miller MP said: “While Sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly.

"It is a little known life threatening illness that claims the lives of 37,000 people in the UK every year.

"If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.

"In Ellesmere Port & Neston there are an average of 140 cases of severe sepsis per year and more than 50 deaths. Simple, timely interventions could instantly cut deaths from sepsis by more than 50%.

"I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives.

"I want to see Sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public."

Thursday's event was attended by more than 30 parliamentarians, and was supported by a number of representatives from charities, sepsis survivors, doctors, nurses, health professionals and the general public.

Speakers included Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and health service ombudsman, Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, Erin McNeill a survivor of Sepsis and Terence Canning who lost his brother to Sepsis.

Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne and Sarah Newton also spoke.

Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said: "Through strategies for early recognition and treatment, many more Sepsis patients will be diagnosed and interventions delivered before severe organ dysfunction develops."