Help to raise standards for emergency laparotomy patients

A new collaborative aimed at raising standards of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery and reducing mortality rates is set to be launched by Eastern AHSN.

Of the 30,000 to 50,000 patients who undergo the procedure in the UK each year, 14.9% are reported to die within 30 days of surgery, rising to 24.4% for those over the age of 80 (Saunders et al, 2012). It is a costly procedure too, with over 25% of patients remaining in hospital for more than 20 days after surgery, costing the NHS more than £200m a year in ward care (NELA, 2016, p9).

Our Emergency Laparotomy improvement collaborative aims to raise standards of care and outcomes for patients having the surgery by implementing six evidence-based measures.

We are looking for trusts who would like to join the initiative and, in return, we can help with project management support and project implementation, including staff training.

This collaborative, launched in partnership with East Midlands AHSN, is spreading work undertaken by the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative across three AHSNs, which attracted additional funding as part of The Health Foundation’s Scaling Up awards.

Key outcomes achieved across the 28 hospitals so far include significant reductions in mortality rate and length of stay.

  • Risk adjusted mortality rate fell by 18% in the first three months. Sustainability is being monitored.
  • Length of stay has fallen by 8.5% (1.5 days), equating to non-cash releasing savings of £1.3m in the first nine months.

In October we will hold the first Emergency Laparotomy collaborative event and it would be great to have a representative from all the trusts within the Eastern region. To apply for your place, please contact for more information.

To view vacancies for surgical and anaesthetic clinical leads to work on the programme, please keep track of our jobs page



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