NELA eNewsletter - 4th Edition October 2013

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Organisational Audit

The whole NELA project team would like to thank all the participants who have completed the NELA organisational audit. In total 191 sites have completed the organisational audit.
There is a great deal of very useful data and the NELA lead and statisticians are now analysing all this data in preparation for the report which is due to be published in Spring 2014.

The results of the organisational audit will be available in a report to be published in May 2014.

Patient Data Collection

We are currently testing the online data collection web tool that will be used to collect data during the audit. This pilot will also test the questions which will be used in the audit.
A draft pilot version of the dataset to be used is now available to view on the NELA website for your information. This is still a draft version; questions and order are still subject to change. - here.

The inclusion and exclusion criteria have also been finalised and are available here.

The patient audit data collection period begins on 2nd December 2013

Caldicott Guardian
The project team have recently sent sites a Caldicott Guardian agreement form. This form is to be signed by your trusts' Caldicott Guardian confirming that Caldicott approval has been given to provide NELA with patient identifiable data.

This form is to be returned to us by 4th November 2013. You will not be able to participate in NELA patient audit until you have obtained Caldicott Approval and returned the agreement form to us.

If you have not received this form and/or need further information please contact the NELA team -

NELA Patient Information
To assist you with publicising that the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit is taking place in your hospital site the project team are making available a Poster and Leaflet for you to use. Please download and put these up in your hospital wards. These are available for you from the NELA website.

We have also created a poster to publicise the audit amongst staff in the hospital so that they are aware that data collection should be taking place. You can also get this on the NELA website - here.

Other Audit News

NELA and the EPOCH Trial collaboration
EPOCH is a randomised stepped wedge cluster trial of a quality improvement intervention to implement an integrated care pathway in patients scheduled for emergency laparotomy surgery. It will involve ninety NHS hospitals which will be organised geographically into fifteen groups or 'clusters' of six. The trial will take place over an 85-week period starting in Spring 2014 and we estimate data will be collected on around 27,000 patients during this time. The EPOCH trial will be run in tandem with NHS National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) for the purposes of data collection. This co-operation is supported by HQIP, and will minimise the time commitment for investigators in individual hospitals and maximise the benefit of the two projects.

As the trial intervention is at an institutional level, individual patient consent will not be required. Data will be captured by the direct care team through NELA and then anonymised before transfer to the EPOCH team. There is no additional data collection required by the direct care team for EPOCH over and above that required for NELA. Hospitals not participating in EPOCH will be totally unaffected.

We are working very closely with the NELA team to capture high quality data whilst minimising the demands placed on investigators' time. It is important to mention that all hospitals must collect data for NELA from the very start of the trial even if they have not started the quality improvement project. After hospital discharge, long-term follow up will be performed by NELA using national registries.

The trial has secured funding from the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research panel. If you have any questions about the EPOCH Trial please contact Kirsty Everingham (Trial Manager) or Prof Rupert Pearse (Chief Investigator)

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
  • Dec 2013: 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 -