Launch of NHS Wales Modelling Collaborative
The NHS Wales Modelling Collaborative (WMC), an exciting new programme launched in Wales, aims to translate data into knowledge to directly improve patient care and increase the pace and scale of modelling initiatives already shown to be beneficial throughout NHS Wales and beyond.
The WMC was formed in response to a specific call from Welsh Government for all health and social care departments in Wales to make better use of available national and local data to support informed decision making. Alongside the setup of an Informatics Task Force to articulate the key activities required to facilitate a data driven health and care system in Wales, the Collaborative was launched to offer health analysts, managers and clinicians working across different organisations in Wales fresh opportunities to coordinate effort, share methodologies, good practice and knowledge.
The launch event of the WMC was held in Cardiff on November 16th 2016. It attracted around 90 delegates from a range of NHS planning, performance, information and commissioning departments, as well as clinicians and academics. It saw a number of senior figures from NHS Wales and Welsh Government highlight the importance of making better use of available data to support informed decision making when addressing the health needs of the population.
The morning session focused on modelling work undertaken to look at how stroke services might be redesigned to provide more effective and efficient services. There was a lot of interesting discussion at a high level about how models are created, how assumptions underpinning models can be evaluated and what kind of changes they can be modelled within a system to evaluate specific outcomes. The afternoon was based around facilitated round-table discussions, first amongst tables of people from different geographies and skillsets looking at general issues around modelling, then with those from similar functional areas. A variety of other questions were posed to conference delegates about the areas they work in, what they would like to see come out of the WMC, their opinion on capacity/capability in their organisation, and how health boards could collaborate more in future, which yielded a range of insightful comments to be discussed. Some of the key outputs of these discussions, namely (i) enablers and barriers to the spread and implementation of advanced analytical projects in the NHS; and (ii) a benefits dependency network for stroke services improvement with some enablers, potential impacts of whole systems modelling for stroke redesign and anticipated benefits are displayed below.
Building on the success of the launch event, the intention going forward is that two national conferences will be held in Cardiff each year. In addition to this, several working groups with face-to-face meetings and online forums will be set up throughout 2017 to develop coordinated approaches to key priorities likely to apply to many NHS organisations. Whilst the future direction of the WMC will be largely dictated by NHS Wales priorities, the organisers are very keen to strengthen links with those with similar interests in other areas of the UK. If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, please contact Julie Vile for further information.