NHS should use modelling approach to resolve A & E Crisis:
‘Emergency Simulation’ is a new study, developed by the consultancy for The Cumberland Initiative, a unique partnership of academics, industry and clinicians for test-driving change in the NHS.
Computer modelling and simulation of solutions to the NHS winter A&E crisis, currently being pioneered in a number of NHS Trusts, should be adopted across the health service, argues the report, published in January 2014. Computer modelling provides a safe, inexpensive way to try new methods and avoids the unintended consequences of bed closures and changes in primary and social care that can lead to A & E crises, says the report, launched by Mike Farrar, former Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation and Lord Norman Warner, former Health Minister for NHS reform, at an event in Westminster, which is organised by the consultancy.
Examples of using computer modelling of changes highlighted in the report include:
Cardiff: Modelling has shown that A + E demand is actually generally stable and crises are largely due to increases in attendance by people aged over 75.
South Wales: Mathematical modelling convinced managers that some of the UK’s poorest ambulance response times could be tackled effectively by speeding up hospital turnaround rather than increasing numbers of ambulances.
Torbay Hospital, Devon: Modelling has convinced managers and clinicians to rethink a bed closure plan.
Nottingham: Modelling has shown that the best way to reduce bed occupancy and improve emergency and unscheduled care was neither early discharge nor separating majors from minors in the Emergency Department, but via measures to keep elderly patients out of hospital.
Lincolnshire: Modelling has recently given managers in Lincolnshire the confidence to invest in a GP presence in A + E, to create intermediate care and to close acute beds. And simulation is being used to develop innovative funding mechanisms supporting integrated health and social care for people with long-term conditions.
Think O’Sullivan has also developed Cumberland Initiative’s website.