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Emergency Service Simulation

Use of a simulation model to help re-design and improve emergency services at the RD&E Hospital.


The Trust Service Development team co-ordinated extensive discussions with a wide range of clinicians, managers, and other key stakeholders to identify the problems with the current system and to develop the project aspirations. The concept of a ‘Hub Model’ and clarifying its meaning amongst the key participants was crucial in determining the desired emergency service model.

The ‘PatientFlow Planning’ software was introduced as a visual process for mapping and recording information about different pathways of care. Having decided the twelve key questions to be answered, the simulation model guided the team to successful modelling. The result of the this work is a model which can vary demand from different patient cohorts, vary the provision of Staff resources, and vary the provision of physical resources (beds, chairs etc.) The model then estimates the impact of these changes in terms of the patients, staff and finances.


The key strengths of this tool is in enhancing communication and effective strategic decision making. The abilty to ask ‘what if’ questions also proved invaluable.

Lessons learnt:


Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust


Focused-On Ltd

Contact Person

Steven Burnell

Contact Email

health [at]


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