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2016 HSMA Programme

The Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme is a scheme run by PenCLAHRC's operational research team, PenCHORD. Working directly with staff from NHS organisations in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, the programme aims to support the increased use of operational research within health service development and decision making.

The 2016 HSMA Programme served as a pilot. It began on 1 April 2016 and lasted for twelve months, and involved six Associates from organisations across the South West. The Programme focused on pathway modelling and, as well as supporting Associates to develop their proposed projects into robust research questions that can inform decision making, they received training in the use of Simul8 software.

Along with receiving dedicated one-to-one support from their PenCHORD Mentor, the 2016 Associates attended monthly Learning Set meetings. These provided the HSMAs with an opportunity to meet and discuss their projects and any challenges they faced, as well as providing support through the sharing of experiences.

The HSMA projects led to multi-million pound business cases, significant improvements to A&E, mental health and discharge pathways, and a number of the Associates were promoted within their organisations. 


2016 HSMAs and Projects

The 2016 HSMA cohort, with the PenCHORD mentors. 


HSMA Organisation Job Title Workplace Supervisor PenCHORD Mentor Initial Project Question
Alaric Moore Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Performance Improvement Manager Laura Custerson - Accident & Emergency Cluster Manager Sebastian Rachuba How would the addition of a CDU affect patient flow and waiting times at RD&E A&E?
Hannah Trebilcock South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Audit Officer Sarah Black - Research & Audit Manager Kerry Pearn What are the bottlenecks and delays in getting out-of-hospital medical cardiac arrest patients to definitive care?
Joe Turner Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust Information Analyst Pierre Rautenbach - Ophthalmology Consultant Dan Chalk What are the current constraints/ bottlenecks within the acute eye service and how can we minimise them?
Karl Vile Devon Partnership NHS Trust Operational Manager - Acute Care Pathway David Somerfield - Chief Operating Officer Sean Manzi How do we reduce bottlenecks (delayed discharge) in the Mental Health Acute Care Pathway?
Nic Harrison Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Senior Business Analyst Andrew Burgess - Deputy Director of Operations Andrew Salmon & Mike Allen What will be the impact of changes to the North Devon District Hospital A&E?
Ryan Hunneman Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Service Improvement Lead Neil Hammacott - Head of Service Improvement Mike Allen & Emma Villenueve How would variation in patient discharge rates throughout the week be affected by a Medical Specialist Registrar dedicated to discharge review over the weekend?

Find out more about the 2016 cohort here


Further Information

To mark the end of the first year of the HSMA Programme a new website was launched to showcase the impacts the programme has had on NHS Trusts across the South West. You can visit the website at:

We held a showcase event in March 2017 to celebrate the first year of the programme and to hear about the projects that the HSMA had completed. You can read more about the event here.

For further information, you can also consult the HSMA 2016 FAQs document.

For information about the 2018 HSMA Programme, view this page.

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