NELA eNewsletter - 12th Edition September 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

We are delighted to report that as of August 2014 we have 100% participation from eligible hospitals. This is going hand in hand with the number of cases entered onto the web tool continuing to increase and we can report that the percentage of cases locked has now surpassed 60%, the highest it's been since the patient audit began back in January. With over 14,600 cases now entered the NELA Project Team is very pleased with the progress of the data collection process.

Once again however we must emphasise how important continuing to complete and lock cases is if we are to have an adequate sample of patient information for the publication of the first Patient Audit Report. Even if a patient case has only one question incomplete or unanswered we are unable to include it in the audit, making the hours of work that went into collecting and entering the patient information count for nothing.

Of the 5,100 incomplete cases currently on the web tool over half of them were created before July of this year. That means that all the information for the vast majority of these is now available and the cases can be completed. Please take the next few weeks to have a look through all your hospital's cases that remain incomplete and see which ones can be completed and locked.

Keep in mind that it's not just clinicians who can access the NELA web tool. Clerical and admin staff can be given a username and are strongly encouraged to contribute efforts to the audit if they are available to do so. To have these members of staff added onto the web tool please contact your NELA Local Administrator or get in touch with the NELA Help Desk.

Export Function Update

Over the past several months we have heard from several NELA leads requesting that the web tool export function be updated so that it allows users to export all cases entered, not just those that have been locked. It was felt that being able to export all hospital cases would allow leads to see which questions remain incomplete from which cases, thus making the data completion process more efficient. It would also make it possible to perform analysis of all data collected, not just that of cases that have been locked.

The Project Team has taken your recommendations on board and as a result users are now able to export their entire caseload. So as to be able to distinguish between cases that have been locked and those that remain unlocked we have added a new column which indicates whether a case is complete or incomplete.

We hope that this update proves to be useful and along with the 'NELA Status' export function that was added last month is able to ensure the highest level of data entry and case completion for your site. 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.

NELA Feedback Survey

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to those of you who took the time to complete the audit feedback survey that we sent out in mid-August. Your work is vital to NELA's success and so we greatly appreciate and value your comments and thoughts on the audit so far.

We have received almost 100 responses to the questionnaire and are currently in the process of analysing your feedback, however if you have not yet had an opportunity to complete the survey and wish to do so we will be keeping it open for the next two weeks. We would very much like to hear from as many of you as possible so please feel free to answer as many questions in the survey as you feel are relevant to you and your work with NELA.

The survey can be found here.

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

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 -