NIAA eNewsletter: May 2014

NELA Exhibition Stand

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

The National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), overseen by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP).

Year 1 Organisational Audit: Organisational audit data collection was carried out using an online web tool between July-October 2013. 190 out of 191 registered hospital sites in England and Wales completed the audit. The first NELA report based on this data is currently being finalised by the Project Team. The report will be published on 14th May 2014 and will be available to download from the NELA website.

Year 2 Patient Audit: Live data entry began on 7th January 2014 and take up by local participants during the first 3 months of the audit has been good.

Early participation of patient audit figures (as at 7 May 2014):

  • Cases entered: Over 6725 cases (over 2530 locked)
  • Hospitals entered at least 1 case: 183 - England-170 / Wales-13

At the end of the first year of the patient audit data will be exported and analysed in preparation for a report due in July 2015.

Year 3 (second year of Individual Patient Audit) commences December 2014.

Click here to view more information on the NELA website.

Follow NELA on Twitter @NELAnews.



The Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Priority Setting Partnership

The Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Priority Setting Partnership is a collaboration between many different patient representation organisations and anaesthetic, surgical and perioperative professional societies. It is also guided by the James Lind Alliance, which is a not-for-profit organisation that looks to bring together clinicians and patients/carers in order to make better informed decisions about the scientific research that we need to do in health. In June and July 2014 there will be an online survey open to clinicians and patients alike, asking people to nominate what they think are the most important unanswered research questions in anaesthesia and perioperative care. Please click here to find out more.


Quality Audit & Research Coordinators (QuARCs) have now been appointed in over 2/3 of hospitals around the UK. QuARCs are a vital point of contact for national audits, quality improvement projects, multicentre research and other academic issues. Several surveys have already been facilitated by the QuARC network and QuARCs will be updated when the results of such surveys become available.

The Research and Audit for Quality Improvement Day held on Friday 28th February was a great success and fully subscribed. QuARCs learned more about their role and upcoming work of the Health Services Research Centre (HSRC), including SNAP-1.

If you would like to be appointed to the QuARC role in your hospital, please contact us after discussion with your Clinical Director. A QuARC database is available to allow you to liaise with other QuARCs across the UK and can be viewed here, along with the QuARC job description and charter.

Sprint National Anaesthesia Projects

The Sprint National Anaesthesia Projects (SNAPs) are an exciting new initiative. SNAP-1 is being managed by the NIAA's Health Services Research Centre (NIAA-HSRC), in conjunction with the UCL/UCLH Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe). It is being funded by an NIAA administered grant provided by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA).

SNAP-1 will involve a two-day evaluation of patient reported outcomes after anaesthesia; specifically patient satisfaction and patient reported awareness. Data collection for SNAP-1 will take place on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th May. Data collection will be managed largely by trainees and as such, SNAP-1 is an excellent opportunity for trainees to get research experience.

260 Local Lead Investigators and 1200 Local Investigators have registered to take part in SNAP-1. We would like to thank everyone who has signed up to date for their enthusiasm for SNAP-1 and look forward to data collection!

National Audit Projects

Airway Leads (AWLs)

Following the successful Airway Lead Day in September 2013, we will be providing an Airway Lead page on the RCoA website as a resource for Airway Leads and will link to a new Airway Lead forum which DAS will be providing on their website. The RCoA web pages will primarily be a repository of information and signposting to other resources for Airway Leads. The forum on the DAS pages will facilitate networking between Airway Leads across the UK. The Airway Lead contact database continues to be available on the HSRC NAP pages here.

If your hospital does not yet have an appointed Airway Lead and you would like to take on this role, please contact us after discussion with your Clinical Director.

NAP6: Perioperative Anaphylaxis

The 6th National Audit Project of the RCoA will study Perioperative Anaphylaxis. We are pleased to announce that Dr Nigel Harper has been appointed as the Clinical Lead for NAP6 and planning for the project is already underway. Please keep an eye on the NAP6 web page for further updates.

NAP5: Accidental Awareness during General Anaesthesia

The results of this project will be presented at the NAP5 Professional Launch on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at the Royal Society of Medicine. NAP5 Local Coordinators can register for this event at a discounted rate in recognition of their contribution to the project. For more information and to register, please click here.

Academic Trainees

RAFT (Research and Audit Federation for Trainees)

Following an initial meeting in December 2013, the RAFT group met for a second time at the Research and Audit for Quality Improvement Day in February 2014 to consolidate their aims and objectives. The primary aim of RAFT is to promote and develop trainee led research in the UK. Its role will be to act as an 'umbrella' organisation to support regional collaboratives and orchestrate trainee-led projects.

A growing number of trainee-led research networks are establishing themselves across the UK. To find out more, see the trainee pages of the NIAA website. The NIAA will be hosting a webpage for RAFT in due course. You can also follow RAFT on Twitter @RAFTrainees.



NIAA Grant Sessions at GAT Annual Scientific Meeting: 12 June 2014

The NIAA will be running drop-in sessions at the AAGBI's GAT conference on 12 June in Newcastle. If you are working on a research project and are looking for advice on how to submit a grant application, or you are interested in becoming involved in research and have some questions about what it entails, please click here to book a slot and speak to one of our NIAA experts.

Introduction to Academic Anaesthesia: 1-2 September 2014

Following the success of the Introduction to Academic Anaesthesia course last year, this event will be run again and hosted at the London Deanery on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd September 2014. More information will be available in due course.

AAGBI Annual Congress, Harrogate: 17-19 September 2014

Call for abstracts!

The AAGBI invites you to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentation at the Annual Congress, Harrogate. Submissions are invited in the following categories: Audit, case reports, original research and survey.

Individuals and departments are invited to submit an abstract for the AAGBI & MPS Safety Prize, applicants may like to consider projects based on themes identified in SALG patient safety updates. New for 2014 is the SAS audit poster prize; we would like to encourage all SAS doctors to submit.

All accepted abstracts in the above categories will be published in Anaesthesia in the form of a fully referenceable online supplement.

Please click here to find out more.

NIAA Grants

Small Grants & Awards

The NIAA has several small grants funded by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for the purpose of supporting research, education or travel connected with the study of anaesthesia. Priority will be given to educational projects, the presentation of original work or the provision of education to developing countries. Please click here for further details.

Applications are also invited for the Macintosh Professorship, Maurice Hudson Prize and the Payne Stafford Tan Award.

Round 1 2014

Round 1 closed on Monday 28 April and applications have been sent out for peer review. The Grant Committee will meet at the end of June and all applicants will be contacted at the beginning of July.

John Snow Anaesthesia iBSc Awards

The deadline for applications for the John Snow Anaesthesia iBSc awards was Monday 31 March. Applications are under review and all applicants will be contacted soon.

BJA/RCoA Basic Science Fellowship 2014

Two awards were made in February 2014 to Dr Gareth Ackland (Project title: Parasympathetic modulation of perioperative myocardial injury) and Dr Daqing Ma (Project title: Novel preservative strategy in enhancing marginal kidney donor pool). Click here to find out more about these studies.

NIHR Portfolio Study: OPERAS

High flow nasal Oxygen and Enhanced Recovery After thoracic Surgery
We are delighted to bring details of this NIHR portfolio study funded by the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists through the NIAA.

Starting at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, in May 2014 the project will last approximately 6 months and the study team will be comprised of Maurice Hogan (R
Research Fellow), Andrew Klein and Guillermo Martinez (Consultant Anaesthetists).

Patients who undergo lung resection surgery are at risk of postoperative respiratory complications. One established method of reducing the risk of these complications is to treat patients with continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) postoperatively. However this often requires admission to a high dependency unit or intensive care (ICU), and is therefore costly and labour intensive. Nasal high flow oxygen in addition to other possible benefits can provide a low level of positive airway pressure similar to CPAP, but is easy enough to use that it may be administered on a normal ward.

In this randomised controlled trial patients will be randomly allocated to receive either standard oxygen therapy or nasal high flow oxygen, as part of the established enhanced recovery program already in place. The primary outcome measure will be 6-minute walk test, and secondary outcome measures will include spirometry and functional and mental recovery (assessed by PQRS score).

On the basis of a power analysis using a population mean of 500m (with standard deviation 100m), based on a previous study of CPAP in lung resection patients, it is anticipated that 32 patients will be required in each group to detect a difference of 50m between groups. Analysis will be performed on an intention to treat basis.