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Staff Profile

Dr Daniel Chalk

Senior Research Fellow in Applied Healthcare Modelling and Analysis

Kath Maguire

I am an applied health services researcher focused on using modelling, simulation and data science techniques to help provide evidence to solve problems in health and social care settings, and inform decision making.  My areas of expertise include the use of Discrete Event Simulation to model patient pathways, System Dynamics to model whole systems, Agent Based Simulation to model emergent population dynamics from individual-level behaviours and machine learning methods to train machines to replicate decision making.

I have a particular research interest in the application of AI-based Natural Language Processing techniques to health and social care data to automate the extraction of information from free text data.  This includes identifying important named information (Named Entity Recognition) and predicting the sentiment of free text data (such as patient surveys) and the particular issues raised to help organisations better understand what is and isn’t working well in the delivery of their services (Aspect-Level Sentiment Analysis).

My prior projects have led to significant impacts for patients and services across the region, including significant reductions in referral to treatment time for muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients in Cornwall, and close work with Kernow CCG to improve the provision of urgent and emergency care provision across Cornwall.

In addition to my research work, I lead the development and delivery of the PenARC Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme – an innovative and impactful programme in which health and social care staff are released from their usual role for a day a week for a year to undertake a modelling or data science project of importance for their organisation.  We provide training and ongoing mentoring support for HSMAs, and previous HSMA projects have led to £multi-million investments in mental health services and emergency department facilities, as well as the establishment of new in-house Operational Research teams in NHS organisations across the region.

I am a firm advocate of the use of Free and Open Source software in developing my models and solutions, to ensure that the work I do can be freely shared, developed upon and critically appraised.  I have significant programming experience, primarily in the use of the Python programming language, which I use for most of my work.

Email me

Contact by phone
01392 726081

Employed by
University of Exeter

Areas of expertise
Operational Research, Data Science


PenCHORD - Modelling rheumatology bottlenecks to facilitate patient-initiated clinics (PIC) rollout

PenCHORD - Torbay Cardiology Clinic Scheduling

PenCHORD - Optimising plastic surgery clinic scheduling at Derriford Hospital

PenCHORD - Ophthalmology location analysis

PenCHORD: Modelling the optimal size of Derriford Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU)

PenCHORD - Diabetic retinopathy screening interval assesment

PenCHORD - Optimising Polypharmacy using Agent-Based Simulation

PenCHORD - Optimising the location of outpatient services in Cornwall: Phase One

PenCHORD - Optimising GP Appointment Policies at Ivybridge Health Centre

PenCHORD - Reducing A&E four hour breaches in Cornwall

PenCHORD - What are the factors that most influence demand for ambulances in South West England?

PenCHORD - Streamlining the bladder cancer pathway at RCHT

PenCHORD - Optimising the location of urgent care sites in Cornwall

PenCHORD - Modelling high level health and social care capacity needs in Cornwall

PenCHORD - Fractured neck of femur: Fast track pathway modelling

End of Life Care Resource Modelling

Supporting the NHS through Operational Research

Police Service Modelling Associates (PSMA) Programme

Using Systems Dynamics modelling during COVID-19


Can the retinal screening interval be safely increased to 2 years for Type 2 diabetic patients without retinopathy?

Guidelines on glaucoma and the demand for services

Cost-effectiveness of bevacizumab for diabetic macular oedema

Fractured neck of femur patients: Rehabilitation and the acute hospital

The impact of minor injury unit closures on travel time and attendances

Which factors most influence demand for ambulances in South West England?

Which factors are driving increasing demand for community nursing? A qualitative System Dynamics approach

Can Agent Based Simulation be used as a tool to support polypharmacy prescribing practice?

Reducing delays in the diagnosis and treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer using simulation modelling

Cost effectiveness of collagen crosslinking for progressive keratoconus in the UK NHS

How lack of information hampers decision making in ophthalmology

A novel modelling and simulation capacity development initiative for the National Health Service

Upcoming Events


PPI Advice Clinic


Patient and Public Involvement Advice Clinics Whatever your query, from finding out more about Patient and...
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Searching and Review Clinic


COVID-19 update: As a result of the pandemic, all PenARC staff are currently working remotely. While...
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Could physical activity help minimise drug and alcohol use?

17 December 2020

Figures and surveys have shown that high-risk alcohol consumption increased during lockdown periods, while exercise...
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£300,000 from NIHR to investigate the views of older adults on strategies to improve recovery from planned surgery

10 December 2020

A team of researchers from across the University of Exeter Medical School, Royal Devon &...
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'Why physical activity matters more than ever'

01 December 2020

Professor of Health Service Research, Adrian Taylor, discusses motivation, exercise schemes, and the future impact on...
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Research Projects

Police Service Modelling Associates (PSMA) Programme

Theme: ARC - Methods for Research & Improvement

The PSMA Programme is a pilot programme which supports analytical staff working in policing to...
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Remote-by-Default Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Theme: ARC - Public Health

A research project to investigate how to ensure the delivery of effective care accessed remotely...
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Research Projects