SNAP-2 (EpiCCS): Patient Information

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The Sprint National Anaesthesia Projects (SNAPs) are 'snapshot' evaluation studies of clinical activity and patient-centred outcomes that are important and relevant to both patients and anaesthetists.

SNAP-1 was a two-day evaluation of patient reported outcomes after anaesthesia conducted in May 2014 and over 95% of NHS hospitals in all 4 devolved UK nations participated in that study.

Invitation and Overview

We are now conducting the second SNAP research study (SNAP-2: EpiCCS) in hospitals throughout the UK, which will use patient information to help us improve care for people undergoing surgery in the future. Most NHS hospitals are taking part, and all patients having an operation this week and staying in hospital overnight afterwards will be included. Patients, clinicians and others involved in the operation and postoperative care will also be taking part. We will therefore be collecting some information about you and the care you receive whilst in hospital.


What is the purpose of the study?

We know that after surgery, complications can sometimes occur, including mild ones like nausea, and more major ones such as infections, and very rarely death. One way which may help to prevent complications in some patients is to admit them to a Critical Care Unit (CCU) after their operation, where they can receive more intensive nursing support, or particular treatments not available on other hospital wards.

Critical care would normally only be considered for people who are having either a very big operation, or who have a number of significant background illnesses. Previous research studies have shown that the proportion of patients admitted to CCU after surgery differs between hospitals and countries. We are conducting this study to try and uncover some of the reasons for these findings. We also hope to find out whether Critical Care admission after surgery improves patient recovery after surgery.

What would taking part involve and what information about me will be collected?

We will be collecting information about the care you receive whilst in hospital. This will include information about any investigations and treatment you receive, and whether you go to a CCU after your surgery. Full details of what is being collected can be found elsewhere on this website.

The confidential information we are collecting is your name, date of birth, NHS number (everyone in the UK has a unique number), postcode and gender. This will allow us to match information about your hospital care with other sources of information that can give us a fuller picture of how you recover from your operation (for example if you are readmitted to hospital after going home).

Your information will be entered into a very secure website and stored safely in accordance with NHS recommendations and standards. None of your personal information will be made public. Some of the information about your treatment will be shared with a small group of NHS and University researchers to help us understand how to improve future patient care. You cannot be identified from this information.
Your information will be kept securely for 10 years in order for long-term outcomes to be accurately studied.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We cannot promise the study will help you directly but we hope that the information we get from this study will help to improve the quality of care delivered by hospitals in the future.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

We do not think there are any disadvantages or risks of taking part. The study does not change the usual care you will be receiving, and you will not be exposed to any additional treatments or interventions because of the study.

Why haven't I been asked for permission to use my information?

For the majority of studies informed consent is required before collecting information; in this case due to the nature of the study, we have been given exemption from Section 251 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001.

Some patients are very unwell before and after they have had an operation, so it would be very difficult to ask all patients for their consent. It is important that we get information from all patients in the UK having operations this week, not just those who are well enough to give consent. That is how we can obtain the most accurate information about the care patients are receiving. Surgery can be a difficult experience for some patients and their families, especially those who are the most unwell, and asking them about this project at this time would not be their most important priority.

The study will abide by strict information governance and confidentiality procedures. The information you provide will be anonymised for analysis, so none of your data would be identifiable.

What if I do not want to carry on with the study or have my confidential information included?

Please notify a member of your hospital team that you wish to opt out. We will then ensure that your details are not entered in the study. If they have already been entered, we will ask for them to be removed.

Alternatively, please email snap2@rcoa.ac.uk and put "Patient request to opt-out" in the subject line. Put your name and date of birth and the hospital you are being treated in in the email. We will then contact the hospital to make sure that they do not enter your details into the study.

If your hospital has already entered your details, we will ask for them to be removed such that the data does not leave the trust in which your care was provided.
Removing yourself from the study will not in any way change the care you receive in hospital.

What will happen to the results of the study?

The results from the study will be published in medical journals, on the this website and made available to all hospitals throughout the UK to enable them to improve the care they deliver. None of the information published will link you personally to the study.

Who is organising and funding the study?

The study is being organised and funded by the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA), the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland, the NIAA Health Services Research Centre (HSRC), and the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Who has reviewed the study?

All research in the NHS is looked at by independent group of people known as a Research Ethics Committee whose job is to protect your safety, rights, wellbeing and dignity. This study has been reviewed and approved by the South Central - Berkshire B Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 16/SC/0349) on behalf of the Health Research Authority.


Further information