Bowel Research UK volunteers are working with a research team to help improve care for people with dangerous complications after surgery.

In Emergency General Surgery (EGS), which deals mainly with patients with severe abdominal pain, the death rate after exploratory abdominal surgery to find out what’s wrong (called laparotomy ) is five times higher than for similar routine surgery. Death rates after routine major surgery are lower in bigger hospitals than in smaller ones. It is known that this is not because larger units have less complications after surgery, but because they respond to them more effectively.

The RESPOND Study, based at Oxford University and funded by the NIHR, has been set up to make sure all hospitals know how best to react when patients deteriorate after emergency surgery. The team will collect patient data, but have also designed the study to include and learn from patient’s lived experience of hospital stays at every step of the process.

In order to do this, they’ve worked with patient representatives from our Take PaRT programme to design the interventions that will be tested in the trial.

Claire Hoppe, who is one of our patient representative, spoke about her experiences of this process – You can read about them on the RESPOND website.