Research team

Tom Lawton

Michael McCooe



Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Why is this project important?

Considering safer decision in a digital world, simulation modelling can be used to safely test out scenarios and ideas to help alleviate unwanted circumstances like the pressures caused by winter spikes in admissions.

As patient-safety specialists, we are using state-of-the-art simulation techniques to improve our understanding of the antecedents of winter pressures and any potential mitigations.

What are we doing?

We are developing ways to build simulation models of patient flow using routinely-collected data, and demonstrating that these techniques can be applied to an entire hospital to model winter pressures. Modelling allows us to test even the strangest ideas without ever putting a patient at risk.

After extensive testing, we can work with patients and healthcare providers to translate our models into hospitals. We hope that this demonstrator project, in conjunction with the NHS-R community, will help increase the use of this technique in the NHS.


Outputs and Impact

  • We have developed a computerised model of inpatient flow at Bradford Royal Infirmary and already predicted a big spike in demand in Bradford, earlier in 2019.
  • Will provide open-source R source code for our patient-flow model.
  • We will report on possible mitigations for winter pressures as analysed using model.


Contact for more information

If you have any questions about our Winter Pressures research, please contact Tom Lawton via email at or on social media at @LawtonTri.