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Orthopaedic Services Simulation

Simulation of Orthopaedic Services to model ways to achieve NHS 18 week targets


North Cumbria Hospitals NHS trust needed to plan to achieve NHS 18 week GP to theatre targets and Orthopaedics was chosen as the first area of study. Flow models were generated to identify key areas in the dynamics of the system. The use of Simulation modelling then allowed elective and emergency flows to be separately analysed and process constraints quickly identified. Both clinicians and managers were engaged in the input into the models.

Modelling tools were developed which allow different scenarios of staffing, theatre availability, bed provision and the use of external service providers to be explored. Impact assessment can be made in terms of patient care and trust revenues. The simulation assisted in constructing business plans.



The following excerpts are from a testimonial letter about this project written by the Chief Executive Marie Burnham:

“The use of simulation modelling has allowed us to separate elective and emergency flow and to identify the process constraints quickly and easily. The modelling process engaged our clinicians who are now able to propose significant process improvement ideas and to test thier preferred solutions which are now being implemented. We now have new tools that lift our planning to a new level to support our improved strategies of care delivery.”

Full Text Testimonial From Marie Burnham (Chief Exec. N. Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)

Further Information

Summary of North Cumbria Orthopaedic Project (PDF) or contact Steve Burnell.


North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust


Focused-On Ltd.

Contact Person

Steven Burnell

Contact Email

health [at]


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