Enabling health and social care organisations to improve their services and efficiency

Cuts in funding to public services require health and social care providers to make regular cost-efficiencies. At the same time, they are under pressure to continually enhance the effectiveness of their services.

Our participative simulation methodologies enable stakeholder engagement in modelling – and have led to the design of improved community-based services offered by health and social care organisations across Leicestershire and Rutland.

Elderly and vulnerable people are now better cared for in the community enabling them to live at home – relatively independently – for longer.

Our impact

Redesign of Leicestershire’s services

  • We helped identify changes in processes and workforce configuration, resulting in a streamlined and shorter user journey – Lightbulb – reducing customer point-of-contact from seven to one – streamlining and accelerating support.
  • We supported capacity planning for Help to Live at Home domiciliary care service that reported a decrease in forced use of contingency care from 41% to 30% (October-December 2017).

Lightbulb - health gains with financial benefits

  • The redesign of the Lightbulb service resulted in a 50% reduction in service costs per case, saving ≈£360,000 (2017-19).
  • The reduction in falls has saved the local health and care economy £21,000 a year.
  • Lightbulb has helped reduce the duration of hospital stays, saving £22,000 per patient.

Improving Housing Support for the Vulnerable
The Operational Research Society has published an article about our award-winning work in its magazine, Impact.

Read the article

The research

To overcome existing barriers to the adoption of changes to practice – based on academic research – by health and social care providers, we developed and implemented participative simulation methodologies to actively engage stakeholders in their design.

This has greatly increased the commitment to, and success of, organisational enhancements that have made cost efficiencies without detriment to services – indeed, improving them.

In partnership with colleagues at the University of Warwick, now at University of Kent, we developed PartiSim, a toolkit to support stakeholder engagement in modelling workshops.

Building on the principles of PartiSim and SimLean, we developed the Simulation to Evaluate Greater Care (SIMTEGR8) to analyse and help improve integrated health and care services.

SIMTEGR8 involved both service providers and, for the first time, users to ensure any changes would benefit both. The project has advanced facilitated simulation methodologies by adapting existing facilitation processes to the evaluation of community-based health and social care services.

A major beneficiary of our work is Lightbulb which provides targeted support in health, wellbeing and independence at home.

The improvements to its service were recognised by the Association for Public Service Excellence's Best Collaborative Working Initiative 2017 and by the Local Government Chronicle Awards in 2018. It was also highly commended by the Home Improvement Agency Awards' Collaboration Award 2017.

In 2021, the research team was awarded The Operational Research Society’s most prestigious accolade, The President’s Medal, for their work relating to Lightbulb.

The SIMTEGR8 modelling was an essential part of developing the care pathway and the evaluation process for our pilot.

Former Director of Health and Care Integration Leicestershire County Council

Research funders

  • Higher Education and Innovation Fund
  • Leicestershire Better Care Fund

Development partners

  • Leicestershire County Council
  • The University of Warwick
  • University of Kent
  • HealthWatch Leicestershire
  • Simul8 Corp

Meet the experts

Photograph of Antuela Tako

Professor Antuela Tako

Professor in Operational Research

Now at Nottingham Trent University

Photograph for Stewart Robinson

Professor Stewart Robinson

Dean of Newcastle University Business School