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In partnership with

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Demand and Capacity

The Demand and Capacity e-learning programme supports NHS staff to better understand demand and plan sufficient capacity so that patients do not have an unnecessary wait for treatment. The e-learning programme has been developed by the National Demand and Capacity Team, jointly with NHS England, NHS Improvement and HEE e-Learning for Healthcare.

The mismatch and variation between capacity and demand is one of the main reasons why waiting lists or ‘backlogs’ develop and waiting lists and waiting times increase. The undertaking and understanding of the outputs of robust demand and capacity modelling are a basic requirement for the planning and delivery of healthcare services in a modern health and social care system.

A shared understanding between providers and commissioners on demand, capacity, bottlenecks and constraints can help to:

  • Understand the reasons why waiting lists grow

  • Model the required level of capacity to keep pace with demand

  • Understand the gap between the required capacity and the current demand of a service

  • Calculate the maximum waiting list sizes that are consistent with the clinical pathway milestones

  • Model the impact of clearing excess waiting list sizes down to ideal maximum levels

  • Identify potential inefficiencies

  • Support better decision making around service changes

  • Reduce waiting times for patients

This introductory course provides a knowledge base around these topics.

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