Demand and Capacity - elearning for healthcare
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About the Demand and Capacity programme

The Demand and Capacity elearning programme supports NHS staff to better understand demand and plan sufficient capacity so that patients do not have an unnecessary wait for treatment.

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.

Demand and capacity modelling for Community and / or Mental Health

Do you work in Community or Mental health services?

If so then this elearning course on demand and capacity planning will be of particular interest to you. This course is based on 4 separate modules. These need to be completed in order but once completed, you can return to a module to review the content again.

The modules are:

  • Course introduction
  • The demand and capacity modelling process
  • Demand and capacity modelling implementation checkpoints
  • Course summary

The purpose of this training is to prepare you to model the demand and capacity for your service.

Throughout this course you will be encouraged to create, and add to, an online action plan. This action plan will be available to you at the end of the course to download and assist you in modelling your own specific pathway or service. There is an example of a  populated action plan in the resources section to help you complete your own.

The technical detail of how to complete a demand and capacity model is not included in this training. This detail is available on the NHS England website,  and further resources are available on the FutureNHS demand and capacity workspace. To access the FutureNHS demand and capacity workspace contact:

How to access

In order to access the Demand and Capacity programme, you will need an elfh account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

To view the Demand and Capacity programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account with elfh, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

View >

NHS healthcare staff in England

The Demand and Capacity programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this elearning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access elfh Hub, you may be able to access the service by creating an OpenAthens account.

To check whether or not you qualify for free access via OpenAthens, you can view the eligibility criteria and register on the ‘OpenAthens’ portal.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Demand and Capacity programme, please contact elfh directly.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the elfh Hub.

elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies