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Emergency surgery deaths alarm
About 15,000 people a year die during emergency surgery according to Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) president Clare Marx. An excellent new briefing from the RCS sets out the main challenges facing emergency surgery and suggests some remedial actions for policymakers.
Around 1.2 million patients need emergency surgery of treatment every year. Emergency surgery accounts for about 80% of surgical mortality and there is widespread clinical variation. The RSC briefing sets out the variation in mortality following emergency laparotomies, which ranges from 4% to over 40%.
In KSS we have a track record of reducing that level of clinical variation quickly and have clinicians support and commitment to improve emergency laparotomy care.
Patients that survive this operation often suffer post-operative complications and associated long stay in hospital. The effect on healthcare providers as well as patients should not be underestimated. According to the RCS, the “impact is felt beyond the emergency department; delays in emergency surgery can also affect patients undergoing planned surgery, for example, when planned operations are cancelled to free up medical staff for emergency work”. Improving emergency surgery will improve efficiency, reduce harm and shorten patient waiting times. A prize worth fighting for.
Scaling up improvement
In collaboration with other AHSNs in the South and West of England we plan to launch a project to improve outcomes after emergency laparotomy through the adoption and spread of an evidence based care bundle. The Emergency Laparotomy Pathway Quality Improvement care bundle has already been piloted at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) – and three other hospitals outside KSS – and has led to risk adjusted hospital mortality rates reducing by 42%. The project will see this approach extended to at least 20 hospitals, from Kent to Avon, based on an approach that works with patients and their carers as partners in their care.
We have worked with RSCH and others to develop a bid for additional funding to the Health Foundation which has been shortlisted and, if successful, our intervention will allow hospitals to use their current performance data to develop strategies locally, to improve the quality of care delivered to patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. A reduction in hospital mortality is expected to follow. Our role is to develop and coach hospital teams to understand their performance and thereafter develop local solutions to problems in their own hospitals. This key educational aspect of our collaborative will allow hospitals to continue improving after this project is completed, or when circumstances in a hospital change that requires a new way of delivering care.
We anticipate the project launching its set up phase in early 2015. For more information, please contact Kay Mackay, Director of Improvement.
Managing Director, KSS AHSN
KSS Patient Safety Collaborative: Proposal Paper for Consultation
The paper explains proposals for the governance, operational structure and initial priorities for the Kent Surrey Sussex Patient Safety Collaborative (KSS PSC), seeking your feedback. There are some particular questions in bold throughout the document that we would appreciate your thoughts on in your response.
Free Intellectual Property Clinic – 8 October
If you have an Intellectual Property query and need assistance, you can come along to Venner Shipley LLP’s monthly free IP clinic on Wednesday 8 October and talk to Anton Hutter, Robert Cork and Catrin Petty of Venner Shipley, in confidence, at their Surrey Research Park office.
Further details about the clinic are available, here.
If you would like to publicise your Intellectual Property service, please send us your details.
EU UK MALCOLM Dissemination and Consultation Conference
Date: Thursday, 16th October, 2014
Duration: 09:30 – 17:00 (10am start)
Cost: Free to attend
This international, free to attend event will outline the latest market intelligence on the Assisted Living Capability in the coastal regions of South East England and Lower Normandy with a particular focus on the opportunities for businesses, academia, procurers and providers of health and social care. Delegates from the UK and France will gain valuable market insight, and learn:
Places are limited so early booking essential
For more information and booking details, please click here.
NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes
Applications for The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes will be open from September 15 to November 7. It is a £650,000 prize programme that encourages, recognises and rewards innovations from the front line. Anyone working in or with the NHS is eligible to enter if they have an innovation that is proven, has the potential for spread and supports NHS England’s objectives.
Designed with input from a wide cross-section of staff and stakeholders, this year’s challenges include diabetes, infection control, rehabilitation, use of technology and digital patient and clinician engagement. A series of targeted ‘acorn’ prizes will be awarded to small innovations with the potential to make a big difference.
For more information, please click here.
Involving hospital staff is key to implementing new technology
During 2013-14, University hospitals of Leicester NHS trust (UHL) treated 1,194,000 patients (or 3,271 patients a day). With the numbers treated set to rise year-on-year, we need to better equip our staff to cope with the additional pressures that will bring.
Like many trusts, our staff are feeling the pressure of the NHS constantly being in the media spotlight. The media focus is often on poor outcomes. It is almost forgotten that the vast majority of hard-working staff provide world-class patient care.