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The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

Research project: Healthcare Modelling

Currently Active: 
Yes

Healthcare modelling has a long and successful tradition at Southampton. Healthcare modelling research within the OR group may be divided into two broad themes: Planning and management of healthcare resources. Prevention, early detection and treatment of disease.

Currently work in this field is being led by Dr Christine Currie, Dr Honora Smith, Dr Navid Izady  and Ms Marion Penn, in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Management (through CORMSIS). We have a number of PhD students working in this field on topics ranging from Economic evaluation of interventions for dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever in resource-poor settings (Gerhart Knerer); Simulation of survival estimates and economic costs of ART in Zambia (Mushota Kabaso); and the blood supply chain in Thailand (Pornpimol Chaiwuttisak).

We have made contributions to the literature in infectious disease modelling, particularly the modelling of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. Recent work in this area has included a worldwide investigation of TB epidemics and an article describing how household structure can be incorporated into a discrete event simulation model of TB. Moving further back, we have considered the effects and costs of different TB and HIV interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa. We also have a paper forthcoming in Healthcare Management Science describing a model-based analysis of the impact of strategies against dengue fever. We have designed novel hierarchical models for efficiency/equity of public service facility location.

Research from the OR group has had direct input into formulating health policy, both locally (such as helping a number of hospitals plan for and schedule key resources) and nationally/internationally. For example, work on TB has contributed to policy decisions by the WHO and Location Analysis carried out on behalf of the National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa has informed decision making for location of HIV-AIDS test equipment.

Current and recent research:

  • An EPSRC-funded project "RIGHT" (Research Into Global Healthcare Tools) – creating a toolkit of techniques for NHS service delivery;
  • Development of data mining and decision tree tools for assisting the NHS Information Centre with the redesign of Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs);
  • Collaboration with Hampshire Adult Services, (joint EPSRC-ESRC collaborative PhD studentship) on modelling the future demand for residential care in an ageing population;
  • Collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine building a simulation model of tuberculosis and HIV disease, set in Harare, Zimbabwe;
  • Multi-level simulation models (combining system dynamics and discrete-event simulation) for integrated strategic/operational modelling of health systems (focus: Southampton emergency healthcare system - working with Southampton City Primary Care Trust, South Central Ambulance Service Trust and the Emergency Department at Southampton General Hospital);
  • Novel research on incorporating human behavioural factors in simulation models: incorporating psychological models with discrete event simulation to evaluate compliance with mammography screening for breast cancer;
  • Design of tools for improving operational efficiency and demand forecasting for BUPA hospitals;
  • Facility-location modelling in collaboration with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (community care centres), Kings College London (dental services) and Department of Health (cardiac services, and cleft lip and palette);
  • Modelling nurse skill-mix needs for inpatient wards and in the community (intermediate care);
  • Research on screening for Chlamydia (St. Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth);
  • Forecasting hospital admissions linked to weather events (with the Met Office).

Related research groups

Operational Research
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