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PenCHORD training courses

Please note - we no longer offer classes for our training programme.  However, our training materials will be made freely available in due course.  Please check our web pages for updates later in 2019, and also for updates on further rounds of the Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme 

In partnership with the Aneurin Bevan Continuous Improvement Team at Cardiff University, PenCHORD have developed a training programme aimed at supporting staff within the NHS to:

  • Recognise the potential and limitations of modelling.
  • Understand modelling techniques and concepts.

  • Develop practical skills to enable them to develop Excel-based models within their own organisations.

  • Understand some key tools and techniques used to structure problems and be able to use these to develop structured questions to answer real-world complex problems.

As part of PenARC's capacity building initiative, this training is being offered free of charge to NHS staff within Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. To date, three connecting modules have been developed, along with a standalone problem structuring module (details below). For a brief introduction to our courses, download our flyer (pdf)

Watch our video for an overview of how modelling can benefit the NHS. 

MODULE 1 – Introduction to Excel-based Modelling in Health and Social Care

This is a full day module that introduces the concept of modelling, its potential and limitations, and guides participants through a hands-on practical session to build a simple model of an outpatient clinic. Participants are then introduced to concepts such as “what if” analysis, in which models are reconfigured to predict the impact of different real world scenarios and the importance of considering variability in systems.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concept of modelling, the broad range of applications of models and their limitations

  • Explain the potential role of models for decision making in health and social care

  • Develop and test a simple decision model in MS Excel

  • Understand how to use a simple Excel-based model for “what-if” analysis

  • Appreciate the importance of capturing variability when modelling systems

MODULE 2 : Geographic Modelling

Geographic modelling techniques provide vital decision support when deciding where to place services, or to predict the impact of service closure or geographic reconfiguration. Simple but effective geographic models can be built using a combination of Microsoft Excel and freely available software. In this module, students will learn how to build a geographic model to predict the impact of theoretical Minor Injury Unit closures in Cornwall.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the role and potential applications of geographic modelling

  • Obtain a batch of shortest driving distance and time calculations from a dataset containing patient and provider postcode data

  • Build a geographic model in Excel of the current service scenario

  • Use “What If” analysis to predict the impact of service closures

  • Visualise the results of geographic modelling using Google Fusion Tables

  • Understand how a geographic model could be built to assess the best place to locate services amongst a number of alternative options

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