Developing a versatile tool for modelling pathway capacity in NHS organisations

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

  • Being run by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
  • Aiming to improve understanding of how care pathways are performing and enable ‘what if’ analysis to identify more effective and efficient service configurations.
  • Developing a versatile pathway tool that will allow NHS managers to understand and model patient flow.
  • Project will run from October 2018 to September 2019.

Although there are tools available to NHS organisations that give capacity estimates for particular services, there are few tools for use in modelling the dynamics of patient pathways, linking the various clinics or surgeries.

This project by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG will explore how system-level data analytics can meet complex challenges such as maintaining patient flow, reducing delayed transfers of care, and ensuring patients are only in acute beds when it is clinically appropriate.  

The project will involve building an analytics tool that will be flexible enough to allow a number of different points of service delivery along a pathway to be incorporated. It will be based on an underlying model that represents the patient pathway as a network of ‘queues’.

The tool will be developed so that it is easy to use, with a purpose-built user interface. A suite of training materials will be developed to provide an overview of the underlying concepts, and an explanation of how to use the tool.

The project team anticipate that the tool will promote better understanding of pathway dynamics by visualising patient flow, pinch points and waiting times – using flow charts, graphs and other explanations. It will also provide numerical outputs to help with service planning.

The model will be packaged as a ready-to-use tool, which will be free for other NHS organisations to use.


For more information about this project, please contact Richard Wood, Head of Modelling and Analytics, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

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