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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School


The Southampton Business School contributed to more effective planning in the NHS through a collaboration with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

During a three-month placement, the Business School postgraduate student Joe Viana developed a simulation tool to enable the NHS to plan for a new accident and emergency department.

We worked with ‘Making Leeds Better’ programme, which aims to deliver major improvements to hospital and community care in Leeds. The collaboration focused specifically on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The project

Joe produced a tool to examine alternative configurations of short stay departments, such as A&E, based on existing data.

A Discrete Event Simulation (DES) model of A&E was developed which captured a patient’s treatment time, the associated test times including X-ray, MRI, blood test etc, waiting time and therefore the total time a patient stays in A&E.

The model users were able to specify various levels of treatment to reflect the severity of a patient's condition. Users were also able to investigate the effect of changes in treatment times and the level of resources available - for example, the number of treatment areas in A&E.

This meant that the hospital could measure the percentage of patients that were treated within the target time from arrival to treatment of four hours, the waiting time for different treatment levels and the way resources were being used.

For more information, visit the CORMSIS website.

The project work our students can produce in only three months is quite awe-inspiring. It demonstrates not only the quality of students our MSc courses attract but also the impact Operational Research/Management Sciences techniques can bring to bear on difficult business and policy issues.

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