National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2

This is the latest version of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), first produced in 2012 and updated in December 2017.

NEWS2 has now received formal endorsement from NHS England and NHS Improvement to become the early warning system for identifying acutely ill patients - including those with sepsis - in hospitals in England.

How NEWS works

The NEWS is based on a simple 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. Six simple physiological parameters form the basis of the scoring system:

  1. respiration rate
  2. oxygen saturation
  3. systolic blood pressure
  4. pulse rate
  5. level of consciousness or new confusion*
  6. temperature.

*The patient has new-onset confusion, disorientation and/or agitation, where previously their mental state was normal – this may be subtle. The patient may respond to questions coherently, but there is some confusion, disorientation and/or agitation. This would score 3 or 4 on the GCS (rather than the normal 5 for verbal response), and scores 3 on the NEWS system.

A score is allocated to each parameter as they are measured, with the magnitude of the score reflecting how extremely the parameter varies from the norm. The score is then aggregated. The score is uplifted by 2 points for people requiring supplemental oxygen to maintain their recommended oxygen saturation. This is a pragmatic approach, with a key emphasis on system-wide standardisation and the use of physiological  parameters that are already routinely measured in NHS hospitals and in prehospital care, recorded on a standardised clinical chart – the NEWS2 chart.


For any NEWS queries, please email Please note that an updated version of the NEWS e-learning tool will become available in 2018.

Accessing the original NEWS report (2012)

The original version of the NEWS report from 2012 is available for research and archive purposes only - to request a copy, please email


NEWS2 chart 170.91 KB