Transformation Partners in Health and Care > News > Demand and capacity modelling for imaging reporting

TCST is currently supporting a pilot project for imaging reporting demand and capacity modelling across two NHS Trusts in North Central London (NCL): The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and The Whittington Health NHS Trust. The pilot has focused on developing an approach to identify the capacity requirements for imaging reporting to support service planning improvements and reduce delays.

This pilot follows the success of a system level demand and capacity modelling project for imaging acquisition across NCL.

The challenge

Following system level demand and capacity modelling for imaging acquisition across NCL, colleagues from the NCL Integrated Care Board (ICB) were keen to develop an approach to model the demand and capacity status for imaging reporting to better understand and reduce reporting backlogs. Reporting backlogs were largely due to a lack of capacity within the trusts; understanding the demand and capacity gap was key to being able to address this.

In action

The pilot kicked off in January 2023. Working closely with colleagues from both Trusts, TCST developed an approach to modelling imaging reporting using NHS England’s national demand and capacity core model.

As a benchmark for required reporting times, the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) published ‘Radiology reporting figures for service planning 2022’ were used alongside some additional reporting times.

The data requirements applied calendar year 2022 scanning activity for MRI, CT and X-ray and current job planned capacity for reporting along with additional ad-hoc capacity. The model calculated the required capacity for imaging reporting to meet internal targets to avoid delays for patients.

The outcome

Following the demand and capacity modelling project, a summary report of outputs and recommendations are being drafted to provide an objective assessment of the capacity position for imaging reporting. Within the report, there is encouragement to support improvement plans for the service to reduce delays for patients and help towards aligning to published best practice timed pathways and achieving the faster diagnosis standard for those referred on a suspected cancer pathway.

Key benefits of the pilot project included:

  • Strong relationships being built at pace, and a collaborative desire to understand the modelling requirements to support developing the methodology;
  • key lessons being learned around the data and modelling process;
  • enabling the diagnostic service to engage senior Trust level support with several improvement actions by providing objective evidence.

The key focus for the long term is to plan the service to the required capacity and to operationally maintain the reporting waiting list within the sustainable waiting list range based on the suggested model outputs.

The short and medium-term recommendations focus on prioritising and clearing the reporting backlog by supporting regular ad-hoc reporting sessions to reduce the backlog. Modelling outputs are also being included as part of a business case to increase the establishment of consultant radiologists.

For further information about demand and capacity modelling for imaging reporting please contact Andy McMeeking, Sarah Cooper

Click here to join the TCST FutureNHS workspace to find out more about cancer waits improvement