• Carried out by the Audit and Research Committee of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • In partnership with the Circulation Foundation, the Vascular Anaesthetic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the British Society of Interventional Radiology.
  • Aimed to reduce mortality rates for abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery in the UK from 7.5% to 3.5% by 2013.
  • Used quality improvement (QI) methodology, measurement and best practice protocols.

This project aimed to reduce mortality rates for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery in the UK from 7.5% to 3.5% by 2013. It focused on making surgery for AAA as safe as possible, and on supporting the introduction of the National Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme.

Key findings

  • UK AAA mortality rate has decreased significantly since the baseline measure of 7.5% in 2008.
  • Data collection was improved for the National Vascular Database (NVD) from 66% to 84% nationally.
  • Working as a multi-disciplinary team is critical to a successful approach.
  • A shared learning approach helps teams avoid repeating mistakes and speeds up improvements.

Challenges

  • Lack of quality improvement experience was a major obstacle.
  • A longer time frame was needed to deliver a national project regionally.
  • The initial care pathway developed was too lengthy in practice and was adapted to make it more practical.
  • Large external agendas, such as service reconfiguration, had an impact on the engagement and progress of quality improvement work.
  • A standard cooperation agreement for running UK-wide initiatives would facilitate such projects.
  • An absence of baseline measures made it difficult to measure outcomes of implementing best practice protocols.

Who was involved?

The project was carried out by the Audit and Research Committee of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland – the professional body representing vascular surgery. It was led by Mr David Mitchell, chair of the committee and a Consultant Vascular and Renal Transplant Surgeon at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust.

The project was run in partnership with the Circulation Foundation, the Vascular Anaesthetic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the British Society of Interventional Radiology.

Further reading

Learning report

Using clinical communities to improve quality

This report introduces an approach – the clinical community – to support and secure improvements in health systems across mu...

About this programme

Programme

Closing the Gap through Clinical Communities

This programme supported 11 projects from across the UK that worked to improve the quality and safety of care in a different ...

You might also like...

Research report

A critical moment

Our third annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England in 2018

Press release

NHS staff shortages put long-term vision for primary and community care at risk

New analysis shows NHS staff numbers are failing to keep pace with demand, and that there is ongoing deterioration in workfor...

News

Health Foundation selects 23 innovative projects to improve health and social care through supporting the workforce

Twenty three projects have been selected to receive a total of £1.65 million in funding from The Health Foundation’s Innovati...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more