Funded by the Health Foundation, the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) was originally established in 2015 to use a quality improvement (QI) approach to create a long-term sustainable improvement. The ELC brought together 28 hospitals and 24 NHS trusts across three AHSN regions: Kent Surrey Sussex; Wessex; and West of England.
The ELC worked to improve standards of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery, reduce mortality rates, complications, and hospital length of stay, while encouraging a culture of collaboration and embedding QI skills to ensure sustainability of change.
This involved the spread and adoption of the evidence-based Emergency Laparotomy Pathway Quality Improvement Care (ELPQuiC) bundle within the NHS trusts.
Through the initial roll-out of the care bundle across 28 hospitals, the project successfully reduced lengths of hospital stay by an average of 1.3 days, and crude mortality rates decreased by 11%.
A health economics analysis suggested every £1 spent results in approximately £4.50 benefit to the wider health and social economy.
This evidence supported the selection of this intervention as an AHSN Network national programme between April 2018-March 2020. All AHSNs committed to supporting trusts in their regions to implement the Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative care bundle.