Emergency Laparotomy (EmLap) Collaborative

About the project

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

The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) was originally established in 2015 as a national programme to use a quality improvement (QI) approach to tackle this. Whilst the ELC is no longer a national programme, the HIWM still actively engage with 14 hospital sites across our region to continue to improve the outcomes of patients and standards of care.

Project ambitions

The aim of the ELC is to reduce variation in outcomes, quality of care and metrics through the adoption of the six evidence-based EmLap Pathway Quality Improvement Care (ELPQuIC) Bundle within our NHS trusts:

  • Improve standards of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery
  • Reduce mortality rates and complications
  • Reduce hospital length of stay
  • Embed QI skills
  • Support sustainable change
  • Encourage a collaborative culture

Key national datasets are being collated through the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA). NELA metrics provide the evidence-base to enable:

  • Identification of areas for improvement
  • Evaluation of the success or otherwise of new ways of working
  • Activities supporting sustainable change

Case studies

Find out more

Get in touch with a member of the project team below to find out how you can get involved.


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