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Modelling can be viewed as the process of using available information to understand the system considered and to predict future behaviour and requirements, often with objective of improving safety, increasing efficiency, or reducing cost. However, while modelling has stimulated a lot of interest in the past decade in academia, industry and the health services, there is scant evidence of implementation and of real impact.

In his Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS white paper, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that the NHS will need to achieve unprecedented efficiency gains with “savings reinvested in front-line services, to meet the current financial challenge and the future costs of demographic and technological change”. Could modelling be part of the answer?

In this talk, current and recent projects will be presented to illustrate the diversity of problems that can be tackled using modelling approaches. Through these, certain questions will be raised and answers developed about the need, suitability, value, and sustainability of health systems modelling research, and its implementation. Challenges and opportunities resulting from the current NHS reorganisation and financial pressure will be discussed.

Professor Thierry Chaussalet

Thierry Chaussalet is currently Professor of Healthcare Modelling at the University of Westminster, which he joined after studying in France and the USA. His research interests lie in the development and use of informatics and modelling techniques to improve healthcare management.

He serves currently on the Editorial Board of various healthcare modelling and informatics journals. He is member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, Chair of the Health and Social Services Study Group and member of the Council of the Operational Research Society. Active promoter of the use of modelling in the health services, he has been member of the Steering Group of MASHnet, the UK healthcare modelling and simulation network, since 2005, and of the recently established Cumberland Initiative, a consortia of over 15 UK universities developing a centre for system modelling and service science in health care.

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