Improve bed management and capacity planning

Develop long-term bed capacity solutions and know when bed shortages could happen with Simul8.

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Move bed capacity planning beyond spreadsheets with Simul8

Managing bed capacity is crucial to the smooth running of a hospital, since all departments are in some way dependent on bed availability.

Hospital beds are required for patients needing emergency care as well as procedures. Requirements differ depending on the time of arrival, by hour, day, week and month and the needs and characteristics of the particular patient.

Given this complexity and wealth of evidence on variation, it is surprising that many hospital planners still use deterministic spreadsheets to plan their bed capacity, based on average demand.

Bed planning can’t be management in silo, it is important to look at the system as a whole which is not possible with spreadsheets.

Simulation is a more sophisticated way of managing the variation in demand that is experienced by hospitals, and produces results which are much more accurate than spreadsheets.

Simulation helps ward staff and hospital planners to answer:
  • How could we manage staff shifts better to effectively meet demand?
  • What happens if we flex beds between clinical specialties?
  • How do we ensure patients get the beds in the right speciality for their clinical needs?
  • When beds aren't available, where is the next best place to place them?
  • What happens when we have to close units unexpectedly?
  • What will happen if our patient mix changes?
  • What impact would increasing community beds have, how many do we need?

Why use Simul8 for hospital bed planning?

Every decision in your hospital impacts on bed availability, and capacity impacts on overall patient flow. A change in one part of the hospital can improve or disrupt the overall system. Simul8 is the only solution to provide this complete overview, enabling hospitals to:


Predict and manage demand surges.

Gain insight into how policy changes will impact your bed requirements. Test, plan and experiment with bed demand and management in a risk-free environment and identify when you will run out of beds.


Experiment with bed capacity improvements.

Improve the patient experience by testing the impact of improvement decisions on cancellations, waits and costs. Be confident that your decision is the right one for costs and patient care.


Improve communication and decision-making.

Get departments working together on patient placement decisions. Sharing forecasts will provide stakeholders with the visibility and information needed for bed planning decision-making.

"Simul8 has stood up to scrutiny from clinicians and managers within the Trust; consequently the results output have led to constructive discussions about solutions to issues rather than ongoing debates about the integrity of the modeling."
Iain Hendey
Deputy Director - Information Finance & Performance Information Service Isle of Wight, NHS Trust

Case study

Isle of Wight NHS Trust gains 17% bed capacity for inpatients with Simul8.

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