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Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative launched across UCLPartners

19 December 2018

UCLPartners is inviting staff from across the region to join the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative, supporting hospitals to improve outcomes for patients who undergo the procedure.

Emergency laparotomy is a major surgical procedure of the abdomen, with 30,000 to 50,000 performed every year in the UK. However, around 15% of patients are reported to die within 30 days of surgery. Over 25% of patients remain in hospital for more than 20 days after surgery, costing the NHS over £200m a year.

The UCLPartners Emergency Laparotomy Improvement Collaborative aims to reduce mortality rates, complications and length of stay by encouraging a culture of collaboration and embedding quality improvement skills.

The collaborative is based on work originally developed at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, which was then scaled to 28 hospitals across the south of England. The programme reduced length of hospital stay by an average of 1.3 days, and mortality rates by 11%. It has since been selected by the AHSN Network as a programme to be spread nationally.

The UCLPartners collaborative will run from January 2019 until March 2020 and teams will be supported to implement the Emergency Laparotomy Pathway Quality Improvement (ELPQuiC).

Benefits of joining the collaborative include:

  • The opportunity to attend three regional events over the 15-month period, to share learning with other participants and to hear from expert speakers
  • Support with focused improvement work on elements of the care bundle
  • The opportunity (for those new to improvement) to participate in UCLPartners improvement methodology training, including measurement for improvement
  • Being part of a wider network improving the care for this cohort of patients

John Illingworth, Head of Patient Safety at UCLPartners said:

“We know there is some excellent practice across the region in this area, and this collaborative will enable that practice to be shared more widely. The spread of the emergency laparotomy care bundle, alongside the introduction of a best practice tariff, provides a great opportunity for teams to continue to improve outcomes for these very sick patients”.

For more information about the collaborative, please contact John Illingworth, Head of Patient Safety on 020 3108 2330 or