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Cholecystectomy Quality Improvement Collaborative – Extended Reach (CholeQuIC-ER)

Chole-QuIC3 update: we are now recruiting trusts and health boards for the third Quality Improvement collaborative that aims to improve the quality of care for patients with acute gallstone disease. The project will launch in 2021, and will implement the learnings from CholeQuIC and CholeQuIC-ER.  
If you are interested in joining the collaborative please email to register your interest.  

CholeQuIC-ER (Cholecystectomy Quality Improvement Collaborative-Extended Reach) aims to reduce variation and improve the quality of care for patients with acute gallstone disease.


Between 2016 and 2018, the Royal College of Surgeons Cholecystectomy Quality Improvement Collaborative (Chole-QuIC) supported 13 hospitals to improve care for patients with acute gallstone disease.

Our analysis suggests that participating trusts saved an average of £38,586 a year as a result of increased emergency cholecystectomies.1

Chole-QuIC Evaluation publications

Our published evaluation papers (listed below) demonstrate that participating hospitals substantially improved outcomes for patients by significantly reducing time to surgery for patients needing an emergency cholecystectomy. Here is a link for the related press launch.

  • Understanding the influences on successful quality improvement in emergency general surgery: learning from the RCS Chole-QuIC project - Implementation Science.
  • Effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative in reducing time to surgery for patients requiring emergency cholecystectomy - BJS Open.

Find out more about Chole-QuIC

You can learn more about the lessons from CholeQuIC in the RCS Bulletin and read more about the project from a site lead's point of view in Nabeel Qureshi's blog.


CholeQuIC-ER launched in July 2019. The project is working with 25 trusts/health boards across the UK to radically improve outcomes for their patients with gallstone disease by implementing the learning from Chole-QuIC.


October 2020 update report

Read our latest CholeQuIC-ER update report which outlines the continued improvements our sites have been making since they re-started their emergency gallstone services this summer.

July 2020 update report

Read our July CholeQuIC-ER update report which outlines the impact COVID-19 has had on emergency gallstone services and how we have continued to support CholeQuIC-ER sites.

What are the benefits?

  • Support from clinical and QI experts through on-site coaching sessions, email support and teleconferences.
  • Access to a local data platform.
  • Peer collaboration with colleagues at participating sites.
  • Attendance at webinars and collaborative events.
  • Advice and support from Chole-QuIC alumni.
  • Specially designed programme to meet your trust or health board’s specific needs.
  • Bespoke ‘improvement pack’ for your trust or health board.
  • The opportunity to deliver improvements that save your service money.


CholeQuIC-ER was due to close in June 2020, but has been extended to December 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

  1.  Initiation: recruitment, payment and set-up. 
     February – May 2019
  2.  Launch and testing
     June – July 2019
  3.  Testing improvement ideas in practice
     August – March 2020
  4.  Response to COVID-19
     March – July* 2020
  5.  Demonstrating sustained improvement
     July* – November 2020
  6.  Close and sustainability
     December 2020

*This date may be amended depending on COVID-19 developments.

CholeQuIC-ER sites

  1.  Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  2.  Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
  3.  Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  4.  Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
  5.  Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  6.  Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
  7.  Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
  8.  East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  9.  Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  10.  Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  11.  Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  12.  Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  13.  Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  14.  North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  15.  North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  16.  Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  17.  Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (Royal Free London Group)
  18.  Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  19.  South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  20.  The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
  21.  The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation trust
  22.  United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  23.  University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
  24.  Western Health and Social Care Trust
  25.  Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

CholeQuIC-ER site requirements

The cost per trust or health board to participate in CholeQuIC-ER is £8,000. In addition, sites and health boards need to cover their travel and expenses.

The named project lead should be allocated at least ½ PA in their job plan to lead the project locally.

Registration closed on 17 May 2019.

Contact details

If you have any questions call 0207 869 6264 or email 



1 Analysis from the Chole S study and our own calculations based upon tariffs suggests a minimum saving of £38,000 per annum (analysis available on request). This is likely to be a conservative estimate as it does not account for savings made from preventing the multiple re-admissions that a third of acute biliary patients suffer pre-surgery


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