Demand and capacity modelling for an urgent care system

Working with the Bath and North East Somerset Urgent Care System in the development of a model to improve understanding of the major factors impacting the flow of acute patients into, through and out of hospital.

The challenge

The Bath and North East Somerset A&E Delivery Board requested a dynamic, Excel-based model with the capability for input variables to be adjusted to allow for scenario testing.  The model needed to determine the current performance, demand and sustainability of the system through an ability to change one or more of the variables, answering critical questions related to the level of non-elective hospital and out-of-hospital capacity required.


  • The model was conceptualised and developed from scratch to meet the specification
  • Data collection and presentation would remain consistent with Information Governance protocols
  • Stakeholder testing was undertaken at a strategic level with the CCG Executive Team, A&E Delivery Board and acute provider business intelligence team. Development was responsive to feedback received via these routes
  • Community services modelling was undertaken in conjunction with Wiltshire Health & Care and Virgin Care
  • Assumptions agreed with all system partners – CCGs, acute provider (RUH), three community providers
  • Multiple scenarios of the model were presented, including detailed work to manage the impact of flu/norovirus outbreaks
  • Presented to A&E Delivery Board
  • Detailed user guide and handover to the local team.


  • Delivered the outputs needed for Winter, e.g. quantified the potential impact of different length of stay reduction scenarios to allow system-wide  understanding of the acute bed capacity required
  • Provided evidence-based verification of the current system position and challenges
  • Supported conversations between system partners
  • Facilitated an understanding of how changes in different parts of the system impact each other
  • Provided a platform to support long term demand and capacity planning
  • The model has subsequently been implemented for the Salisbury Foundation Trust system.

'The development of the demand & capacity model was born out of a need to get a more sophisticated understanding of the capacity our system needed, particularly in the winter months. On this basis, BaNES CCG approached the CSU to see whether they could help develop a model to fulfil this need.

'The CSU embraced the challenge, helping us shape the specification, build the model and identify the data feed requirements working with the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust and community providers, including Wiltshire Health & Care Trust and Virgin Care.

'They carried out testing and scenarios to help identify capacity shortfalls across our four discharge pathways to support our winter planning. As the senior responsible officer for the initiative, with limited technical expertise, the CSU completely understood the requirements, liaised effectively with partners and were responsive to requests for updates and presentations for various forums.

'We now have a model which we can continue to develop and evolve and test different scenarios and assumptions to help our system understand changing demand and capacity requirements.' Corinne Edwards, Interim Chief Operating Officer, NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

Planning and modelling

A comprehensive service supporting a range of requirements, from operational planning to strategic modelling.

Key contacts

John Sonke

Head of Demand & Capacity Modelling


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