HQIP extends emergency laparotomy audit contract with RCoA

Published: 09 Aug 2017

HQIP is delighted to announce that an audit led by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) has been extended for a further three years. The National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) is designed to improve patient outcomes following emergency bowel surgery. It is commissioned by HQIP as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme and is supported by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

More than 30,000 patients undergo emergency bowel surgery (emergency laparotomies) every year in the United Kingdom. NELA aims to enable the improvement of the quality of care for patients undergoing this emergency surgery. With a mortality rate of more than 11 per cent, more patients die from this procedure than from any type of planned high-risk surgery.

Since NELA was established in 2014, more than 80,000 patient records have been collected and studied. NELA allows hospitals to see their own variation in comparison to others by providing data in real time leading to year-on-year improvement in the number of hospitals delivering the highest quality of care for emergency laparotomy patients.

Since local clinical teams have been able to access the NELA data and improvement tools, the average length of stay in hospital for emergency laparotomy patients has been reduced by 1.8 days with estimated annual cost savings of more than £22 million for UK hospitals. Mortality rates have dropped from 11.7 per cent to 11.1 per cent over the same time period, saving hundreds of lives.

Dr Liam Brennan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said:

“NELA is an excellent example of where working closely with our surgical colleagues and HQIP is resulting in real clinical improvements in hospitals across England and Wales. With anaesthetists responsible for caring for patients before, during, and after surgery, we are able to focus not only on what happens in the operating theatre, but also on the impact of actions before and after surgery. We are pleased to be continuing our work with HQIP to improve care and help save hundreds of lives every year.”

Dr Sarah Hare, National Emergency Laparotomy Audit Clinical Lead, said:

“We are delighted HQIP have agreed to commission the Royal College of Anaesthetists for a further three years. NELA has led to real improvements in the standard of patient care in hospitals across the UK which translate, most importantly, into more patients receiving better care and surviving this high risk surgery. Despite the good news, we know there is still significant room for improvement. This renewed partnership provides us with more opportunities to make a further difference by working with hospitals, doctors and nurses to improve outcomes for our patients. Thanks must also go to the approximately 600 local leads and thousands of nursing, operating theatre staff and audit teams who have contributed to NELA since its inception.”