There's no stopping Dr Hocking in 300km cycle challenge!

Pedalling her way across the Hebridean Way in an epic three-day, 300km solo challenge is Dr Susanna Hocking, from Worcestershire, who aims to raise awareness of sepsis – a potentially life-threatening condition which accounts for 48,000 deaths annually. Through the solo journey, Susanna hopes to smash her target of £2,000 for UK Sepsis Trust by covering 10 islands and taking two ferries and six causeways to the UK’s Northern-most point on the map.

A smiling Dr Hocking in a bike helmet

Working as the Medical Lead within Practice Plus Group’s Integrated Urgent Care division in Gloucestershire, Susanna is deeply aware of this high-risk condition. Susanna’s role involves caring for patients with acute medical problems who need support when their

daytime GP surgery is closed. She is instrumental in improving the integration of care pathways for patients through the health care system, from 111 to the Out of Hours service and onward to the acute hospitals – aiming to ensure a seamless patient experience. Practice Plus Group also runs hospitals and surgical centres around the country, with the nearest in Emersons Green, Bristol, and Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

The self-supporting bike challenge begins on Saturday 23rd March until Monday 25th March and will pit her physical endurance against emotional resilience. Scotland’s Hebridean Way is an on-road cycle route through the remote and spectacular islands of the Outer Hebrides, beginning on the Island of Vatersay and ending at the Butt of Lewis. Current weather conditions around the islands mean Susanna will potentially endure strong winds and downpours of rain, as she sets off with everything she needs strapped to her bike. Her journey has been meticulously planned with overnight stays in accommodation along the cycle route.

“By taking on this challenge, I hope the funds raised will help prevent hundreds of deaths and suffering through awareness of sepsis.”

Dr Susanna Hocking, Medical Lead at Practice Plus Group IUC, Gloucestershire
Susanna on her bike in a field

About sepsis

Sepsis kills more people every year than cancer. Sepsis is what happens when our immune system overreacts to an infection. Symptoms initially present as flu like but can rapidly deteriorate into a life-threatening condition.

With the prevalent and untimely death of 13-year-old Martha Mills in 2021* after developing sepsis in Kings College Hospital, London, after a cycling accident, there is beginning to be more awareness of the condition, though Susanna believes more can be done to alert people of its symptoms and when to act.

Susanna says: “By taking on this huge challenge, I hope that the total raised will help prevent hundreds of deaths and unnecessary suffering through knowledge and awareness of the symptoms of sepsis – which can present a bit like the flu at first. It also funds vital support work, public awareness campaigns, education for health professionals, and helps people adjust to life after sepsis through accessing Support Group networks.”

If you’d like to support Dr Hocking’s challenge, please donate here.