4th Jul 2012

HQIP appoints RCoA for new National Emergency Laparotomy Audit


The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) is pleased to confirm that the contract to run the new National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) has been awarded to the Royal College of Anaesthetists, effective immediately. NELA becomes part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), a mandatory programme commissioned and managed by HQIP and covering more than 30 healthcare conditions.

Emergency laparotomy (EL) is a common major procedure performed for a variety of abdominal conditions where emergency surgery is required. Approximately 50,000 patients a year will undergo such surgery in the UK. EL often occurs in patients who are already very unwell and consequently is associated with a high level of postoperative complications and death, particularly in older patients. It was selected as part of the 2011 call for new National Clinical Audit topics and this audit aims to measure and improve the quality of care of adults undergoing EL for gastrointestinal conditions by providing high quality comparative data on the structures, processes and outcomes of care for all providers of EL in England and Wales (see 'specific objectives' below).

NELA will comprise an Organisational Audit and a Patient Audit, with the first reports likely to be published in the spring of 2014.

Helen Laing, National Clinical Audit Lead for HQIP said: "Emergency laporotomy is a common but complex procedure requiring expert care and a team approach. I am delighted it is part of NCAPOP, and that same care can now be effectively measured and then, if necessary, moderated and improved. In the Royal College of Anaesthetists we are certain we have an excellent partner in delivering the key objectives of accurately anaylsying care and driving implementation of best practice."

Dr Dave Murray, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for NELA said: "There is a real desire amongst clinicians to improve the quality of care that these patients receive, but until now there has been a lack of good quality information upon which to act. This National Emergency Laparotomy Audit aims to provide that information and will allow clinicians to drive forward improvements in care."

Professor Mike Grocott, Chair for NELA commented: "Anaesthetists are heavily involved in the delivery of care to patients undergoing emergency laparotomy and the Royal College of Anaesthetists is delighted to have been awarded this important perioperative audit which it will deliver with the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA) Health Services Research Centre."

Specific NELA objectives:

  • To enable secondary care providers to improve the infrastructure of their emergency laparotomy care delivery, using information produced by the audit
  • To facilitate the development of effective change (quality improvement) initiatives and thereby spread examples of best practice and help local providers make the best possible use of the audit results
  • To provide comparative information on the organisation of care (structures and processes) of providers of EL care
  • To provide comparative information on the outcomes of care for patients undergoing EL
  • To explore the potential for Patient Reported Outcome Measures, if and when appropriate tools / collections become available

Link to original article on RCoA website

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