NELA eNewsletter - 5th Edition January 2014

Patient Data Collection

On the 2nd of December 2013 we launched the 'Demo Practice' period for the NELA online web tool. NELA participants were invited to login using the demo username and enter false patient information. This was done so as to have users familiarise themselves with the online data collection web tool and to give them an indication of what will be required when the 'live' data collection period begins. The 'Demo Practice' period ended on the 2nd of January 2014.

Beginning today, Tuesday 7th of January, the Web Tool is open and the data entry period has begun. Information from all emergency laparotomies taking place at your hospital can now be entered into the online web tool. The web tool can be found at For information regarding activating your Username and Password for the web tool please contact your hospital's NELA Local Administrator.

Online web tool user notes can be found under the support section of bar on the top of the web tool site.
Our latest NELA Patient Audit Frequently Asked Questions can also be found under the support bar. Please be sure to check the FAQs before contacting the NELA help desk as the answer to your question may already be available.
Under the support bar you will also find 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 inclusion and exclusion criteria are available here -

User Logins/Web Tool User Spreadsheets

In December all hospital NELA Local Administrators were sent an email with an attached spreadsheet requesting that they populate it with the names and email addresses of all hospital staff who require a username for the online web tool. Thank you to all Local Administrators who replied; a login has been created for members of staff included in the spreadsheets so long as an NHS or hospital email address was provided.
At this time we are no longer able to accept updated spreadsheets containing additional online web tool users who require a username. From here on out Local Administrators will be able to create logins for members of staff not included in the spreadsheets previously sent to the NELA team. An email has been sent to all Local Administrators containing instructions for how to create new user logins for hospital staff.

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.

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.

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

  • A PDF copy of Proforma, the online data collection 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 web tool.
  • 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

Other Audit News

Collection of GMC Numbers within the NELA Dataset
We are aware that there has been some debate about the collection of clinician GMC numbers within the NELA dataset and how the numbers might be used. A statement was issued by the NELA Project Team hoping to clarify the rationale for collecting GMC numbers and the purpose for which they will be used.
The aim of NELA is to improve the quality of care of patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery, something that will be achieved by measuring processes of care and the outcomes of the surgery. This will allow us to identify hospitals where best practice exists so that this can be disseminated across the NHS to hospitals where clinical practice may be improved. Collecting GMC numbers will:

  • Allow the Audit to see if the operating surgeon is the same as the surgeon making the decision for surgery and investigate the effects of handing over care
  • Allow us to take account of the numbers of individual consultants within a hospital performing emergency laparotomy and their specialty, making it possible for us to distinguish between hospitals where few clinicians deliver most of the emergency laparotomy service and other hospitals where a large number of different clinicians are involved in the delivery of care
  • Allow us to examine whether subspecialty has an impact on outcome in certain pathologies
    The current contract that exists between the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and the Royal College of Anaesthetists is to produce outcome information only at hospital level. NELA does not intend to publish surgical outcomes at an individual clinician level for this audit.

A copy of the complete statement issued by the NELA Project Team is available 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 -

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 -