A consultant who led a major surgery project found to increase patient survival has won a prestigious safety award.

Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Consultant Anaesthetist Nial Quiney was named Quality Lead of the Year at the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards.

Dr Quiney was recognised for spear heading the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC).

This project built 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 per cent.

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

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 ensures improved compliance to nationally published guidelines and it sees all patient receive prompt investigation, treatment and surgery.

Due to its success Dr Quiney now engaged in both larger national and international projects to deliver similar standards of care and travels widely to ensure the spread of the project.

The judges credited his ‘effective collaborative working, modern approaches and leadership.”

A snippet of his nomination for the award read: “He (Dr Quiney) goes out of the way, above and beyond the call of duty to ensure staff and, more importantly patients are cared for in the correct way.”

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.

“Having worked in the NHS for 25 years it struck me, about 10 years ago, that the mortality for this type of surgery was extremely high.

“This, to me, was unacceptable and I set about improving the care and reducing this high rate by using an evidence based care bundle and implement it.

“I am delighted 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 for this fitting and well-deserved award, which recognises his unwavering commitment to patient safety.”


©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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