Clinical deterioration is unpredictable and can occur at any stage of a client’s illness or care process. In 2007 NICE stated that:

The recognition of acute illness is often delayed, and its subsequent management may be inappropriate. This may result in late referral and avoidable admissions to critical care, and may lead to unnecessary patient deaths, particularly when the initial standard of care is suboptimal.

Early recognition and implementation of an appropriate treatment plan helps to provide greater continuity of care, enable a client to remain in familiar surroundings, reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections and enhance practitioner’s health assessment skills.