Locating clinics in Leeds

We found the [model] allowed us to explore how the optimal locations for polyclinics changed with the assumptions we made about where demand for potential services came from around the city and the number of viable sites.

As well as helping our decision making [the results] are helpful in explaining to stakeholders, such as local councillors and the public, how we came to the decisions we did.

Mike Davidge, Director of Modelling & Analysis, Leeds Primary Care Trust

As part of a new healthcare initiative in Leeds, the relocation of some of the hospital’s facilities to locations in the community was considered. Clearly, decisions to be taken about the number and location of such clinics was of great importance and likely to be contentious. There was a need to consider, and show, how easy it would be for patients to access these polyclinics.

Summary of the work

A number of models were developed to demonstrate the effects of different scenarios on the placement and likely demands on these clinics at existing GP surgeries. They considered:

  • Likely demand: three methods were used, such as weighted population
  • Different equity of provision objectives, such as:
    • Minimise travel distance, both direct and by public transport
    • Maximising coverage, i.e. best possible coverage of total population
    • Minimise population outside a desired distance service standard

In all 72 different runs were made to cover all the potential combinations of demand, possible locations, possible number of polyclinics and the various patient provision objectives.

Client Benefits

  • An impartial, academically robust, evidence-based decision based on good geographic modelling
  • Clear an irrefutable information to use in discussing the possible arrangements with stakeholders
  • Information on the likely demand and patient provision for the chosen scheme
  • Information to show the public that the whole population was covered fairly and efficiently as possible.