A major surgery project led by clinicians from Royal Surrey County Hospital and found to increase patient survival is now in the running for a prestigious safety award.

The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) has just been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards in the surgical care category.

Consultant Anaesthetist Nial Quiney, who jointly led the project, has also been shortlisted for Quality Lead of the Year.

ELC is building on the success of the Emergency Laparotomy Pathway Quality Improvement Care (ELPQuIC) bundle that was run from the Royal Surrey in 2012 with three other hospitals.

This initial project decreased risk-adjusted mortality by 42%.

ELC is scaling the original work up, and, alongside Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network, implementing the same care bundle in 28 hospitals in the South of England.

This recognition comes just weeks after ELPQuiC was also shortlisted for the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards.

Laparotomy – or abdominal surgery – sees surgeons perform emergency operations in the abdominal cavity. These are often high risk, complex procedures to treat life threatening conditions.

The project conceived by Dr Quiney and his colleague Sam Huddart, also a Consultant Anaesthetist, ensures improved compliance to nationally published guidelines and it sees all patient receive prompt investigation, treatment and surgery.

Dr Quiney said: “An emergency laparotomy is a major operation that involves opening the abdomen, thus allowing a surgeon to view a patient’s organs and repair any problems or damage that may have occurred.

“Usually this is an emergency, and is a high risk procedure. Patients can develop multi-organ failure and sepsis.

“As clinicians we are always looking for new ways of delivering the very best care and to improve outcomes for our patients.

“I am pleased and honoured to see that the work of the entire project team continues to receive recognition.”

Medical Director, Christopher Tibbs, said: “Here at Royal Surrey the safety of our patients is of paramount importance and we are always keen to develop innovative ways of working to ensure that we continue to lead in the delivery of best treatment and care.

“Congratulations to Nial and the team involved in the ELC project.”

©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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