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Study highlights Sherwood Forest Hospitals' strong performance for emergency bowel surgery


Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is performing strongly for emergency bowel surgery, according to figures from the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

A study of emergency bowel surgery (emergency laparotomy) carried out at 191 hospitals across England and Wales shows that these services run by the Trust from King’s Mill Hospital are performing highly and beating recommended targets across a range of measures.

More than 30,000 patients undergo an emergency laparotomy each year in NHS hospitals in England and Wales. The majority of these patients have life-  threatening conditions needing prompt investigation and management, such as complications from bowel cancer, diverticular disease (affecting the large intestine) and stomach ulcers. 

Consultant surgeon, Nicholas Watson, said: “This demonstrates that we are delivering high quality care to our patients. 

“Direct involvement by senior doctors and specialists at King’s Mill Hospital is the key to much of our success, and puts us among the best-performing hospitals in many categories. As well as seeing better results for often very poorly patients, it means we need to perform fewer follow-up operations, and our patients have a shorter length of stay.”

Known as the National Early Laparotomy Audit, which is undertaken across NHS hospitals in England and Wales to identify and help share best practice, the figures show that:

• Patients undergoing emergency laparotomy at King’s Mill Hospital are more likely to survive than the national average

• More than 90% of high-risk patients had their surgery directly supervised by consultant surgeons and consultant anaesthetists – the target nationally is 80%

• Consultant radiologists performed CT scans before surgery in more than 80% of cases

• More than 65% of cases were reviewed by a consultant surgeon within 14 hours of emergency admission to hospital, putting King’s Mill Hospital in the top 30 hospitals in the country

• More than 60% of patients over the age of 70 are helped to recover by an elderly medicine specialist after surgery – King’s Mill Hospital has the second highest rate in the country, according to the audit

• Fewer than 1% of patients had an unplanned admission to critical care within seven days of emergency surgery – the 24th best performance

• Fewer than 5% of patients had to undergo further surgery in the immediate period after an emergency operation – putting King’s Mill Hospital in the top 40 hospitals

• The average length of stay after an emergency laparotomy is fewer than nine days – the thirteenth lowest figure in England and Wales.

There were 288 emergency laparotomy cases at King’s Mill Hospital during the period covered by the audit (December 2014 and November 2015).