Computer Simulation Modelling

In early September the Yorkshire & Humberside Academic Health Sciences Network Improvement Academy commenced a new one year Simulation Associates Program in conjunction with the Simul8 Corporation to introduce the concepts and application of Discrete Event Simulation (DES) modelling to healthcare organisations in the region. Simulation modelling can play a significant role in improvement projects as well as aiding decision making at all levels of healthcare organisations. Despite its usefulness, simulation modelling skills are not widely available in NHS organisations. One of the main aims of the course to bridge the skills gap and build capability in this highly engaging technique. The Simulation Associates Program seeks to compliment the foundations of simulation modelling in healthcare developed by Professor Martin Pitt at Exeter University as part of PenCHORD (the Peninsula Collaboration for Health Operational Research and Development).

Additional aims of the Simulation Associates Program:

  • Provide delegates with the skills to build DES models using Simul8 software.
  • Delegates will have the capability to deploy DES modelling in their organisation.
  • Embed and spread DES modelling as a core business as usual function in healthcare.
  • Develop opportunities for collaborative working between simulation modellers and improvement teams.
  • Develop operational research opportunities for healthcare organisations involved in the program.
  • Develop an on-line simulation modelling community of practice.

Each participating NHS organisation will be required to identify a key question/issue where simulation modelling is deemed to be useful (eg bed capacity modelling, patient flow modelling, pathway redesign, etc.) and over the course of the programme 1 or 2 staff from that organisation will be trained to use Simul8 to help address the question/issue. 


The first Simulation Associates Program event was hosted at the University of Bradford Business School, and was attended by 16 delegates from a wide variety of healthcare organisations, namely:

  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Childrens Hospital
  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Local Care Direct
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service
  • York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Y&H AHSN Improvement Academy

We’ll endeavour to keep you posted about our Simulation Modelling Associates Program throughout the forthcoming year.

Patient Flow

Simulation Modelling can be used to examine a number of issues such as Patient Flow