A Strategic Review of Hospital Capacity

                                  Assessment Brief



Module Name: Managing Operations



Assessment title:



AS 2: A Strategic Review of Hospital Capacity



Please read this assessment brief in its entirety before starting work on the Assessment Task.


Assessment Context

Waterside Hospital Trust (WHT) provides in-patient services to a medium-sized town. During the recent pandemic, the Trust’s general wards were converted to accommodate pandemic patients only. Routine patients were instead treated by a local private healthcare company, Nene Valley Health (NVH), under emergency arrangements that allowed public hospitals such as WHT to secure additional capacity.


WHT was grateful for the additional capacity provided by NVH during the first part of last year, but frankly did not need it.


The patients admitted at that time were generally younger individuals who recovered quickly. The same could not be said of the winter months, when the patients tended to be more elderly. Once the rate of admissions rose above 250 per week, the additional capacity filled up rapidly.


NVH has indicated that it is prepared to make capacity available to WHT for the coming year, providing guarantees can be given that the capacity will be needed. [Images of empty wards at NVH caused some negative publicity at the time].


Forecasts for the next wave of the pandemic have recently been released by the Public Health Authority. These forecasts estimate the range of New Cases in the Community (NCC) within 95% confidence limits (the upper and lower bounds).


The Assessment Task


You are to use the supplied historic data and forecasts to inform WHT’s decision whether or not to retain additional capacity at NVH.


  1. Plot the historic data and provide an estimate of the lag between New Cases in the Community (NCC) and Hospital Admissions (HA).


  1. Provide an estimate of the mathematical relationship between NCC and HA (a) in the Summer and (b) in the Winter.


  1. Use the supplied Lower Bound and Upper Bound growth rate forecasts to derive the forecast of New Cases in the Community for the coming year.


  1. Apply your formula derived in (2) to generate an Admissions forecast for the coming year, within Upper and Lower Bounds.


  1. What advice would you offer Waterside Hospital Trust regarding their capacity arrangement with Nene Valley Health?


The word count limit for this assessment is 2400 words (+/- 10%). In line with normal practice, tables, graphs/figures, references and appendices are excluded from this word count.


Note that there is no expectation that you will use specialist software to undertake this assignment. No additional credit will be given for doing so.


Show your working; simple, auditable steps are preferred to the use of complex models.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:

c)       Critically discuss the managerial relevance of topics in business operations and supply management, analysing their benefits and implementation challenges to organisations and their supply chains.
d)      Apply managerial concepts, theoretical frameworks and approaches to solve specific operations and supply chain problems in a range of business case scenarios, including related implementation challenges.
f)        Produce and justify appropriate informed decisions in the context by elaborating pros and cons arguments concerning application of relevant concepts and managerial frameworks.


Your grade will depend on the extent to which you meet these learning outcomes in the way relevant for this assessment.


Assessment Submission


Written work submitted to TURNITIN will be subject to anti-plagiarism detection software.  Turnitin checks student work for possible textual matches against internet available resources and its own proprietary database. Work


When you upload your work correctly to TURNITIN you will receive a receipt which is your record and proof of submission.  If your assessment is not submitted to TURNITIN, rather than a receipt, you will see a green banner at the top of the screen that denotes successful submission.