NELA Newsletter - 34th Edition February 2017

Welcome to the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit's e-Newsletter.

Patient Data Collection

Year 3 of the Patient Audit has now finished. The Project Team would like to thank everyone for their hard work in completing this year of the Audit. Through your dedication, we have included over 70,000 patients in total over the last three years.

Our Team has now completed the year-end export and has started analysing the data. Our Year 3 Annual Report is due to be published in July 2017.

As the rush to get cases locked prior to the Year 3 deadline should be calming down, we would to remind NELA participants that the patient data collection side of the audit is still very much ongoing. One of the biggest lessons we have learned over the last year is that entering patient data is easily when done in real time, rather than having to chase patient information retrospectively, often after the patient has been discharged. Our Team would like to encourage you therefore to continue to collect data and enter patient data from qualifying procedures as and when it becomes available, with our hope being that this year proves to be easier on your team and even more successful than in Year 3.

As always if there is anything the Project Team can do to assist with the data collection process, whether it be adding new users onto the web tool or answering question about the inclusion/exclusion criteria, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Year 4 Patient Audit

The data collection period for Year 4 started on 1st December 2016 and will continue until 30th November 2017. A copy of the Year 4 Proforma is available on the web tool, under "Support." You can also find it here

Job Opportunities

The Project Team would like to announce two NELA opportunities:

  • Clinical Lead for the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit
  • Quality Improvement Lead for National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

The NIAA HSRC / National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) are seeking to appoint a Clinical Lead and a Quality improvement (QI) Lead to work on a high profile national audit. NELA is part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), overseen by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government.

Both posts will commence as soon as possible, but no later than 1st April 2017.

The aim of the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) is to enable the improvement of the quality of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy through the provision of high quality comparative data from all providers of emergency laparotomy. The NIAA HSRC is delivering NELA on behalf of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. NELA is a collaboration between anaesthetic, surgical and other key stakeholders.

For further information each of these roles, person specification and how to apply go to:

Clinical Lead:
Quality Improvement Lead:

Closing date for applications: 9am on Friday 17th February 2017

Interview date: 8th or 9th March 2017 (TBC)

Any questions please contact Mr Jose Lourtie - NELA Project Manager (

Quality Improvement Videos

We have recently launched two NELA Quality Improvement videos:

1) "Using run charts to drive quality improvements with NELA data"

2)"Using NELA for Quality improvement"

You can watch both videos on this playlist.

Continue to watch this space for the launch of our third video!

Regional Workshops

The NELA Project Team will be running regional Quality Improvement workshops in 2017. Thank you everyone who have expressed interest in attending or hosting an event. The aim of these workshops is to work with local sites to help run these for a particular region and assist teams on how to use audit data to carry out Quality Improvement work locally.
For those who have already expressed an interest, we will be in touch shortly with more information.

Inclusion / Exclusion Criteria

We have also clarified our inclusion and exclusion criteria to include a few of the FAQ that we have received from you. Please contact the help desk if you would like us to send you this updated version directly.

It can also be found on our main website, under "Documents."

Additional Useful Tools on NELA Website

Guide for calculating observed/expected mortality ratio - Instructions for calculating how your hospital's in-patient mortality rate compares to the expected mortality based on preoperative risk assessment
Outlier Policy (new) - Sets out the process by which participating hospital performance will be assessed and the process the NELA Project Team will follow to manage any hospital that is found to fall outside the expected range of performance and therefore flagged as an outlier
Patient and Organisational Audit Action Plan - Provides an action plan to assist hospital sites in ensuring they are meeting all recommendations laid out in the NELA Patient and Organisational Reports
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.

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

•December 2014: 2nd year of data collection for patient audit commenced
•June 2015: First Patient Report published
•July 2016: Second Patient Report published
•1st December 2016: 4th year of data collection for patient audit commenced
17th February 2017 at 09.00am : Closing date for applications
•November 2017: end of year 4 Audit

Contact info:

If you have any questions or would like to contact the project team email -