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2018 HSMA Programme

Following a hugely successful first round in 2016, we are launching a second round of the Health Service Modelling Associates (HSMA) Programme, HSMA 2018, a joint initiative between PenCLAHRC and the South West Academic Health Science Network.

In the first round of the programme, our HSMA projects led to multi-million pound business cases, significant improvements to A&E, mental health and discharge pathways, and a number of our HSMAs were promoted within their organisations. You can find out more about the first round of the programme on our website.



HSMA 2018

For HSMA 2018, we have made some key improvements to expand the reach of the programme. The programme will now be split into two phases:

Phase 1

Foundations of Health Service Modelling will take a larger cohort of up to 25 people through three months of training (Jan 2018 – Mar 2018) and project proposal development. Participants will receive training in Operational Research concepts, pathway modelling, geographic modelling and visualisation, 'soft' skills (such as meeting facilitation and engaging with stakeholders), problem structuring and implementation planning. 

Training will be spread across six days in the three month period. During this phase, participants will be supported to develop a project proposal to pursue in Phase 2. Around 5 to 7 Phase 1 participants will be selected to proceed to Phase 2, in which they will be released for one day a week for nine months to undertake their proposed modelling project.

Phase 1 events

Date Event Venue
23 January 2018 Session 1 : Introduction to Operational Research Seminar Room 2, John Bull Building, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth
24 January 2018 Session 2 : Introduction to Discrete Event Simulation using Simul8 Room G25, Exeter Medical School Building, St Lukes Campus, Exeter
07 February 2018 Session 3 : Geographic Modelling and Visualisation Seminar Room 1A, John Bull Building, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth
21 February 2018 Session 4 : Project Management and Facilitation Board Room, South West AHSN, Pynes Hill Court, Exeter
06 March 2018 Session 5 : Problem Structuring Lecture Theatre, John Bull Building, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth
07 March 2018 Session 6 : Making an Impact – Planning for Implementation Room G25, Exeter Medical School Building, St Lukes Campus, Exeter


Phase 2

HSMAs will receive advanced simulation development training to support them with their projects. Phase 1 participants who are not selected to proceed to Phase 2 may be able to proceed with other collaborative opportunities with PenCLAHRC and/or the AHSN.

Phase 2 events

Date Event Venue
27 March 2018 Meet Your Mentor event Room G25, Exeter Medical School Building, St Lukes Campus, Exeter


How to apply

If you are interested in applying to be a HSMA in the 2018 programme, you should first consult the Person Specification then you must book your place on the Open Day and complete the survey in full in order for your application to be considered. The closing date for applications is 29 November 2017.

HSMA Person Specification

An HSMA will:

  • have strong IT skills, likely with experience using advanced Excel functionality
  • be able to learn new software packages quickly
  • be naturally adept at mathematical / statistical techniques
  • have excellent and creative problem solving skills
  • be able to communicate complex information to various audiences
  • have excellent project management skills
  • be able to work alone effectively

A good project idea will be:

  • Important to the organisation
  • Impactful if implemented
  • Suitable for modelling and possible to complete within the time frame


HSMA 2018 Open Day

If you think that you fit the requirements, and you have at least a preliminary idea for a potential problem in your organisation that you might like to explore with modelling, you should attend the HSMA 2018 Open Day in Exeter on Wednesday 6th December, 12:00 - 16:00

The Open Day will offer a chance for you to hear more details about the programme, meet the PenCHORD team and discuss your ideas with them and hear first-hand experiences from HSMAs from the first round of the programme.  It is important that you book your attendance through this link and complete the survey in full.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or should you have any further questions, please contact the Programme Lead, Dr Daniel Chalk, by email.



For further information, you can also consult the HSMA 2018 FAQs document.


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