Newsletter - 50th Edition - November 2021

Welcome to the 50th Edition of the NELA newsletter! It's an important time of year for NELA as we have finalised our Year 7 annual report, look to end Year 8 data collection, and look forward to Year 9. We hope you'll find these updates helpful!

Year 7 Annual Report - Now Available!
The NELA Seventh Year Patient Report was published 11 November 2021 and is based on data collected through the audit between 1 December 2019 and 30 November 2020. You can find the report and all associated documents on the NELA website. As with other annual reports, you'll find key recommendations from the audit as well as hospital-specific data which can be used for quality improvement. Thanks to all of our participating sites for their continued dedication to the project, without which, this report would not be possible.

Year 8 Data Collection Closes 30 November 2021
Data collection for Year 8 began 1 December 2020 and is collecting data through 30 November 2021. Participating hospitals will have until 31 January 2022 to lock/submit all cases meeting eligibility criteria for Year 8.

Year 9 Dataset Changes
Year 9 will begin collecting data on 1 December 2021. NELA review our dataset on an annual basis and look to make changes ahead of the start of each year of data collection. As such, NELA have made a few updates for Year 9 which we wanted to alert you to. In this year's dataset, you'll find a few more questions on date/time stamps of different elements of care and a few new questions related to sepsis/intra-abdominal infection. The updated data collection instrument can be found here:  YEAR-9-NELA-Patient-Audit-Questions-Proforma-Active-from-01-12-2021_V4.pdf (927 KB).

Of note, in the Year 9 dataset, NELA will begin collecting data on gynaecologic oncology patients who return to theatre for emergency laparotomy after elective cancer surgery. Updated inclusion/exclusion information can be found here:

Upcoming NELA Events
Annual Report Webinar - Tuesday, 14th December
This free webinar will outline the findings of the NELA 7th annual report, describing the national picture of emergency laparotomy care between December 2019 and November 2020. It will cover the latest national performance and best practice guidelines for emergency bowel surgery patients in emergency medicine, radiology, general surgery, anaesthetics and critical care and care of the elderly. We will also summarise the key recommendations for clinicians and those planning and delivering care across hospitals or sectors. There will be time for a panel discussion, where any questions from attendees will be discussed.

• Content from previous NELA webinars can be found on our YouTube page.

Is your Contact Information Up-to-Date?
We'd like to ensure that we are communicating with all relevant individuals within your organisation. Therefore, we are asking that you complete this short form to make sure we have up-to-date contact information for all NELA leads at your hospital. As a reminder, it is good practice to let NELA know as soon as staff change within your organisation. You can email us at:

External Survey Requests
The following external research project is looking for survey respondents. If you'd like to take part, please review and feel free to contribute:

A team from Royal Surrey County Hospital are conducting a national survey of analgesia practices after emergency laparotomy. They ask that you please complete the survey and forward to your anaesthetic colleagues (of all grades) so that they can get a complete picture of practices, experience and opinions.

The short survey can be accessed via the link below:

NELA Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below a list of FAQs which we are hoping will be helpful in answering some common queries that come in to our helpdesk.
1. How do I get a NELA login for the NELA webtool?
Please check with your local NELA administrator in the first instance as they should be able to set up an account for you. If you still require assistance, please contact the NELA team.

2. How do I change the email address for my NELA webtool account?
In the first instance, you should check with your local NELA administrator who can create a new account for you with your new email address. To delete the account associated with your old email address, please email the NELA team.

3. How do I delete a case?
Local teams are now able to delete cases that don't meet eligibility criteria or who have opted-out using the 'Cannot complete audit' button on the top of the data collection form in the webtool.

4. What happens if a patient returns to theatre after their initial emergency laparotomy?
If a patient returns to theatre following an emergency laparotomy and data was entered for the initial laparotomy, then the second procedure does not need to be entered onto the web tool. The system will not, in fact, allow you to enter two separate cases with the same NHS number and DOB. Questions 7.4 & 7.5 however ask if the patient returned to theatre within same admission, and so the need for a second procedure should be made evident there. All we need to know is if they had a return to theatre.

However for a patient that returns to theatre as an emergency following an elective procedure, data will need to be collected as this is their first emergency laparotomy

5. Where can I find information about my local NELA data and quarterly reports?
Quarterly reports and data on key NELA metrics can be found in the NELA webtool:

6. I have other questions-where can I find more information?
You can find a lot of other support, resources, and FAQs on the NELA webtool: In the event you still have questions, please feel free to contact the NELA team.

Sign up to receive the NELA newsletter
If you would like to receive the newsletter for regular updates please sign up to the mailing list -

Follow us on Twitter: @NELANews

Contact Us
If you have any questions or would like to contact the Project Team email -