NELA eNewsletter - 6th Edition February 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

7th of January 2014 marked the official launch of the NELA 'live' patient data collection period. We are pleased to announce that as of 3 February 2014 we have had:

  • Over 1200 users log into the web tool since its launch
  • 1220 cases created
  • 109 cases locked

If you are one of only 54 hospitals left who have not begun entering patient data into the web tool consider this a friendly reminder that NELA is a mandatory audit, part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), and we are already 4 weeks into the data collection period. You don't want to be the only hospital to have not started!

Locking Cases on the Web Tool

Once a case has been 100% completed and you are confident that no additional changes are required please be sure to lock it. Locking cases is essential to the NELA Project Team being able to analyse the patient data and hospitals being able to export their cases to a spreadsheet for internal use. To lock a case simply click the 'Lock' button located directly above the Proforma questions and when a box appears asking you to confirm select 'OK'. For detailed instructions on how to lock a case and export all locked cases to an Excel spreadsheet please see our Web Tool User Notes that can be found at

Useful Tools for Patient Data Entry

Frequently Asked Questions
We are constantly updating the NELA web tool FAQs to reflect the most common and recent queries we receive from hospital staff and web tool users. If you have a question regarding the audit or the web tool's functionality chances are someone else has had it too, so please be sure to check the FAQs before contacting the NELA help desk as the answer to your question may already be available. They can be found under the Support tab on the web tool and at here.

Help Box Text
Under the support bar you will also find and can print the Help Box Text which provides additional assistance for filling in each of the data collection questions. This will be available while filling in patient information on the web tool by clicking on the 'H' button to the right of every question. The Help Box Text is also being constantly updated to reflect queries that have been brought to our attention by hospital staff performing patient data entry.

A PDF copy of Proforma, the online data collection questionnaire, can also be found under the support tab on the NELA web tool. This can be printed and filled out with patient information in real time, making it then easier to transfer all the information onto the online web tool.

Additional Useful Documents on our Website
Other NELA documents that can be found here on our Documents page include:

  • Updated Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
  • A NELA Poster & Leaflet to publicise the audit amongst staff in the hospital so they are reminded that data collection should be taking place.
  • A NELA Patient Poster & Leaflet that can be handed out to patients to make them aware of the audit and provide them with further information should they request it.
  • OPCS labels for procedure items in the NELA dataset. The codes in this form should allow people to identify all potential procedures within NELA, but hospitals will need to filter out those procedures that do not meet the NELA inclusion criteria.
  • Process Outcome Measures
  • Organisational Audit Link to Standards

Organisational Audit

The NELA lead and statisticians continue to analyse all collected data in preparation for the report which is due to be published in Spring 2014.

Sign up to receive the NELA newsletter

The NELA project team will be regularly publishing a newsletter informing those interested and/or participating in the audit on the latest developments.
You can sign up to receive the newsletter for regular updates here.

NELA Twitter

The National Emergency Lapaorotmy Audit has launched its own twitter account. This will provide updates, news and links to important information on the NELA website. You can follow us @NELANews

Key dates

  • Complete: Organisational audit
  • Jan 2014: 1st year of data collection for patient audit commences
  • May 2014: 1st Report published (organisational audit)
  • Dec 2014: 2nd year of data collection for patient audit commences
  • July 2015: 2nd Report Published (1st patient audit)

Contact info

If you have any questions or would like to contact the project team email -