NELA eNewsletter - 11th Edition August 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

As we enter the seventh month in the NELA data collection process the Project Team is happy to report that cases are being entered and locked on the web tool at the highest rate since the audit began. We have now seen well over 12.000 cases entered and 7.000 cases locked from 190 of the 191 sites participating in the audit.

As always however, we must stress the importance of completing and locking cases once they have been added onto the web tool. A case that is missing the answer to just one Proforma question cannot be locked and therefore cannot be exported and used in the audit. We want to ensure that all your hard work is counted for in this audit.

At the moment there are more than 2.500 cases on the web tool that have only one or two sections incomplete. The vast majority of these were added to the system months ago, meaning the information currently missing is now most likely available. Fields such as Histology and Discharge Date can be completed and the cases locked by clerical/admin staff such as ward clerks. To add these members of staff onto the web tool please get in touch with the NELA Help Desk.

If tomorrow all cases missing just one section were to be completed and locked we would have over 10.300 cases on the system that are 100% complete. We strongly urge you over the next few weeks to look back at all cases entered since the audit began and work on completing all sections that are still missing patient information. That way when the next Hospital Progress List is distributed at the end of the month your locked percentage rates will be higher than ever.

New Export Function

In order to give users a better idea of how the case completion process is progressing at their individual sites, we have introduced a new export function on the web tool. The 'NELA Status' export option allows users to get a breakdown of their progress in entering cases, listing the number of cases created each month along with the how many of these have been locked and how many remain incomplete.

This is the exact same export that we use to create the monthly Hospital Progress List that's already been sent out to the Local Leads these past two months. There is a great deal of useful information that can be derived from the export such as percentage of cases locked, the rate at which case are being entered and completed from month to month and how many cases your hospital still has that are 100% complete but that remain unlocked.

We very much hope this new export function proves to be a valuable tool in ensuring that cases continue to be entered at steady rate and completed once all the information becomes available. If you find that you do not have access to the export screen when logged into the web tool please contact your hospital's Local Administrator or us directly requesting that your web tool login be given reporter privileges.

Upcoming Events Featuring NELA Speakers

The following events will also feature members of the NELA Project Team speaking about and answering questions on the audit:

  • East Anglian Surgical Club General Surgery Event (organised by Dr David Mitchell, Consultant Colorectal Anaesthetist, from Hinchingbrooke Hospital)
    12 September 2014, Harrogate
    Matt Oliver (Research Fellow) Speaking

  • Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain in Ireland (AAGBI) Annual Congress
    17-19 September, Harrogate
    Dave Murray (Clinical Lead) Speaking

  • Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) CPD Study Day
    2 October 2014, Belfast
    Matt Oliver (Research Fellow) Speaking

The CPD Study Day is designed to cover the essentials you need to keep up to date with your revalidation in anaesthesia. During the day there will be ample opportunity to ask questions of the expert speakers who will be happy to answer queries at all levels. The day covers a variety of topics and our aim is that no delegate should leave for home with unanswered questions about any of the subjects.

To view the programme or to book please click here.

  • Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) Recent Advances in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Management
    2-4 December 2014, Manchester
    Dave Murray (Clinical Lead) Speaking

  • Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting
    8-10 December 2014, London
    Mike Grocott (NELA Chair) Speaking

NELA Organisational Report Launch - Clinical Lead Dave Murray's Speech

To watch the full presentation given by NELA's National Clinical Lead, Dr Dave Murray, at the Organisational Report's launch at the Royal College of Anaesthetists' Annual Congress in Cardiff on the 16th of May 2014 please see the NELA news item here.

Additional Useful Tools on NELA Website

  • Set of Slides - A PowerPoint presentation focusing on the key findings of the NELA Organisational Report and how the report strongly emphasises the need for patient data to be collected and analysed
  • Top Tips - List compiled of some of the most useful and effective advice that was sent into us by a number of the top performing NELA sites
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Constantly updated FAQs reflect the most common and recent queries we receive from hospital staff and web tool users
  • Help Box Text - Provides additional assistance for filling in each of the data collection questions and can also be found on the web tool by clicking on the 'H' button to the right of every question
  • Proforma - A PDF copy of the latest Proforma, the online data collection questionnaire, that 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
  • Updated Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
  • NELA Poster & Leaflet - To publicise the audit amongst staff and patients in the hospital
  • OPCS Labels - For procedure items in the NELA dataset
  • Process Outcome Measures
  • Organisational Audit Link to Standards

Certificate of Participation

To receive your copy of the NELA Certificate of Participation please contact your hospital's Local Administrator to request that a certificate be issued for you.

Organisational Audit Report

To download a copy of the full NELA Organisational Report as well as the Executive Summary please click here.

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.

If you would like to receive the newsletter for regular updates please sign up to the mailing list here.

NELA Twitter

The National Emergency Laparotomy 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 commenced
  • May 2014: Organisational Audit Report published
  • 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 -