The mathematics of patient care

Dr Penny Holborn has used mathematics to improve performance in a range of health care settings. Most recently, she supervised an undergraduate student, Lizzie Williams, in a summer placement with the University of South Wales and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB). Lizzie's task was to analyse critical care beds for the Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran which is due to open in 2021.

As part of this placement, Penny and Lizzie had regular meetings and direct access with ABUHB and visited the critical care unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital. They developed a mathematical simulation model of the proposed critical care unit which was used to determine the correct number of critical care beds and staffing requirements required for the unit to operate both safely and efficiently.

The work is now being used within ABUHB and the NHS, and has been presented to a wide range of healthcare and modelling professionals at the National Welsh Modelling Collaborate event.