NELA eNewsletter - 13th Edition October 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

As of this morning the NELA Project Team is very pleased to report that over 18,000 cases have been entered and 12,000 have been locked since the Patient Audit began back in January. That means that two out of every three cases entered on the web tool have now been locked, our highest rate yet! As always we would like to deeply thank the NELA Local Leads as well as all members of staff who have participated in the Patient Audit and worked incredibly hard to ensure that information from so many procedures has been recorded and entered onto the NELA web tool.

Remember however that 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. We must therefore continue to emphasise the importance to completing and locking cases once all patient information becomes available, especially as we near the end of the first year of the patient data collection process.

Year 1 of the NELA Patient Audit concludes on the last day of November 2014, meaning that all cases entered for procedures which took place prior to the 1st of December can be included in the first Patient Audit Report. We understand of course that the complete information for a procedure that took place on the final day of November will not be available right away. We are therefore setting a mid-January deadline, the exact date for which we will confirm shortly, by which all cases for procedures which took place prior to December need to be completed. All pre-December cases that have not been locked by mid-January will not be included in the Patient Audit, meaning the incomplete information that has been entered in these cases will be lost.

Don't forget that NELA is on ongoing audit and that the 1st of December also marks the beginning of Year 2 of the patient data collection period. The data entry process will continue to take place as usual going into 2015, with the Project Team looking at changes to patient outcomes following the implementation of recommendations made in the NELA Patient Report.

Adding User to the Web Tool

We have received correspondence from several members of hospital staff wishing to participate in the data entry process informing us that they have not been issued a trust or email address and are therefore not able to be registered on the NELA web tool. For Information Governance purposes we cannot in fact accept a personal email address such as hotmail or gmail as a username for the online web tool. Due to the fact however that not all clinical staff have an or trust email address we are allowing NELA participants to register using a email.

Setting up a account is very simple and can be done by clicking here. Once the email address has been set up please let your hospital's NELA Local Administrator know and they will be able to create a login for you so that you may access the web tool and participate in the patient data entry process.

We would once again like to remind you that it is 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.

Organisational Audit - Quality Improvement Feedback Form

Earlier this month all NELA Local Administrators were sent a questionnaire asking about Quality Improvement changes that had taken place locally following the publications of the NELA Organisational Report in May 2014 and the use of an Integrated Pathway. We would like to extend our deepest thanks to the Leads who have taken the time to complete the questionnaire and return it to us.

If you have not had a chance to fill out the questionnaire with your hospital's responses we would still very much like to hear from you. Please assist the audit by completing the questionnaire and returning it to the Project Team by Monday 3rd November 2014. If you would like the form resent to you please don't hesitate to let us know.

HQIP NCAPOP Seminar - Quality Improvement Lead Carol Peden's Speech

A copy of the full PowerPoint presentation given by NELA's Quality Improvement Lead, Dr Carol Peden, at the HQIP National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP) Seminar in London on the 9th of October 2014 is now available.

The presentation is entitled 'NELA's Story - the impact of integrating audit wit QI methodology research' and can be accessed via the NELA news item 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:

  • 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

  • College of Anaesthetics in Ireland (CAI) National Audit Day
    11 December 2014, Dublin
    Matt Oliver (Research Fellow) Speaking

Additional Useful Tools on NELA Website

  • Organisational Audit Action Plan - Provides an action plan to assist hospital sites in ensuring they are meeting all recommendations laid out in the NELA Organisational Report
  • 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 -