A Proactive Solution to Bed Configurations: Using Simulation to Challenge Narratives

April 20, 2023 • Reading time 2 minutes

Being able to plan proactively to devise flexible bed configurations is a major challenge for Trusts that strive to improve the services they provide to patients and meet their changing needs.

Edge Health was recently approached by a large specialist Trust that wished to better understand their bed requirements. The Trust wanted to challenge the existing narrative within the organisation on the number of beds required and gain the ability to simulate initiatives such as building new theatres, adjusting case-mix, or achieving national or peer benchmarks for length of stay.

Our expert solution

To meet these needs, Edge followed a tried and tested three-step bed modelling approach, now implemented at several Trusts, which balances efficiencies from using existing frameworks together with bespoke tailoring to ensure a good fit for local circumstances.

Here are the key steps of our approach:

  1. We collected detailed hour-by-hour patient data by ward, team and procedure to gain a deep understanding of the Trust’s current bed usage.
  2. We engaged with individuals in the wards and across the Trust to understand the wards structure, usage, capacity and any future changes, and collect requirements for the bed model.
  3. We built an interactive simulation tool to reflect the Trust’s risk preference and occupancy rates. We built several iterations of the tool to ensure it fully fitted the Trust’s needs.

A product built to last

The model is now used within the Trust to scope the building of new theatres, change the booking of patients to achieve more constant bed occupancy, and plan for next year. We received excellent feedback from our client, who praised the interactivity and the built-in ability for lateral thinking.

Finally a bed model that you can play with, use to challenge narrative and look at things from different angles. Not just a report. I really like it

The trust’s COO

We look forward to continuing to help healthcare organizations make data-driven decisions. If you have any questions or would like to know more about our approach, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Edge Health are a specialist UK healthcare analytics consultancy that use data and insights to improve the delivery of health and care services, so that better outcomes can be delivered more efficiently.