R&D Knowledge Sharing

R&D Knowledge Sharing

Conference papers and presentations

The CfWI presented at the following conferences over the last four years:


  • International Health Workforce Collaborative (IHWC) conference, Quebec (May 2013)
  • University of Cardiff International symposium on modelling sustainable transition dynamics (July 2013)
  • Robust workforce planning for the English medical workforce, 31st International conference of the system dynamics society, Boston USA (July 2013)
  • Operational research society OR55 annual conference, Exeter (September 2013)
  • Seminar on the robust workforce planning framework to Southampton University (September 2013)
  • CfWI Annual conference, London (October 2013)


  • The use of system dynamics in a strategic review of the English dental workforce, 32nd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Delft, Netherlands (July 2014)
  • Using system dynamics to inform future pharmacist student intake in England until 2040, 32nd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Delft, Netherlands (July 2014)
  • Making the right decisions in a complex world, Canadian Health Workforce Conference, Ottawa (October 2014)
  • Joint Action Conference on Improving Planning Methodologies and Data Across Europe, Rome Italy (December 2014)
  • Making the right decisions in a complex world, Health Workforce Department (HWF/HIS) and the Global Health Workforce Alliance, World Health Organisation (WHO), Geneva (December 2014)


  • Horizon 2035: Developing a long-term strategic vision for the health, social care and public health workforce in England, 3rd Business Systems Laboratory International Symposium, Advances in Business Management, Towards a Systemic Approach, Perugia (January 2015)
  • Developing robust workforce policies for the English health and social care system using system dynamics, 3rd Business Systems Laboratory International Symposium, Advances in Business Management, Towards a Systemic Approach, Perugia (January 2015)
  • Using scenarios to plan the future workforce for the health and social care system in England, 3rd Business Systems Laboratory International Symposium, Advances in Business Management, Towards a Systemic Approach, Perugia (January 2015)
  • Robust health workforce planning, NHS Confederation Annual Conference (May 2015)
  • Horizon 2035: Developing a long-term strategic vision for the health, social care and public health workforce in England, EURO 2015,  Conference for the association of European Operational Research Societies, Glasgow (July 2015)
  • Horizon 2035:  The role of System Dynamics and Systems Thinking in developing a vision for the health, social care and public health workforce in England, The 33nd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (July 2015)
  • Robust health workforce planning, University of Southampton Business School (September 2015)
  • Rethinking health workforce planning, Expert conference on health planning and forecasting, Olso, Norway (November 2015)
  • Using expert elicitation in modelling skills and competences, Health Foundation Seminar on Bayesian statistics, London (November 2015)
  • Applying scenario methods to health and social care workforce planning, Scenario 2015 – Improving Scenario Methodology: Theory and Practice, Warwick Business School (December 2015)


  • Making an impact with System Dynamics in the health and social care system. Making an Impact with System Dynamics 001. UK Chapter of the International System Dynamics Society (January 2016)
  • South West Integrated and New Models of Care Conference, South West Academic Health Science Network, Exeter (January 2016)

Conference exhibitions

  • Health Education England (HEE) Conference, London (May 2014)
  • NHS Confederation Annual Conference, Liverpool (June 2014)


The CfWI attended a number of meetings to share knowledge with key stakeholders and colleagues. Highlights included meetings with:

  • the Scottish Government to discuss our approach to robust workforce planning (6August 2013)
  • the Centre for Integrated Energy Research (CIER) – University of Leeds to see what the energy and health sectors can learn from each other around their approach to policymaking (15 August 2013)
  • TNO, Leiden, Netherlands to share ideas and discuss how their semi-qualitative modelling tool MARVEL could be used for policy analysis (16 December 2013).

MSc Dissertations

Since 2011, the CfWI sponsored seven MSc students. This scheme provided students with practical support while conducting dissertation research on health workforce and policy during their summer vacation. Abstracts for each of the projects sponsored are available below:

Oksana Pchelenkova, September 2011: Developing an integrated model of social and health care

This project was devoted to building a supply and demand model spanning health and social care using occupational therapists as an example. The methodology used for modelling was based on the review of relevant academic papers, meetings with stakeholders and using existing practice of the CfWI, the project’s sponsor. The supply model, designed using the stock-and flow approach, resulted in three possible scenarios depending on the changes in the education commissioning. The demand modelling appeared to be most challenging part of the project since there is no uniform model which can be applied to all the specialities and it is not clear what can be taken as current demand. The work related to demand in occupation therapy resulted in four models which represent very simplified real situation, however enable to estimate the gap between the demand and supply. The analysis of predictions for the demand and supply has indicated that at the existing level of education commissioning growing demand for occupational therapy services could not be fully satisfied. The final part of the report suggested possible lines of action in order to overcome the gap between the supply and demand as proposals for further discussion.

Margarita Dimitrova, September 2012: Attrition from Nursing and Midwifery Workforce: Analysis of ‘Young’ Leavers

This work examined some of the main factors that might influence the number of ‘young’ leavers from the nursing and midwifery workforce. Two main reasons justified the significance of this research. Firstly, the education and training of health care staff requires a significant financial and time investment. Secondly, there is a relationship between the size of the available workforce and patient outcomes.

The research was conducted in two stages. The first is a qualitative research based on literature review, which covered English and international publications. The findings are summarised in a cognitive map, designed as a part of this study, which categorises the premature attrition factors in three main groups: job satisfaction – related factors, which are central for this work, external factors, and personal characteristics. As a second stage of the research, a quantitative analysis on midwives was conducted. The ground for this decision is the recognised gap in the academic research in this field (Gerova et al. 2010). The quantitative analysis is divided in two parts, preliminary and statistical. Both provide evidence for the existence of strong connections between the attrition rates and the salary band (AfC band) as well as between the attrition rates and the working hours (FTE).

May Kee Chow, September 2013: Making people work longer – What is the impact on the medical workforce?

May’s project focused on the sociological impact of increasing the state pension age on the medical workforce in the United Kingdom, focussing primarily on hospital doctors in England. This follows the British government moving forward the state pension age to 67 between 2026 and 2028, instead of 2034 to 2036. Her project used system dynamics modelling, applying qualitative and quantitative modelling through constructing a causal loop diagram, and developing a quantitative retirement profile tool to calculate the retirement rate at each age group and a system dynamics simulation model using Vensim DSS to forecast the supply and demand of the English medical workforce up to year 2040. Plausible scenarios were developed based on the retirement behaviour of the medical workforce in response to the reformation of the state pension age. The results showed the size of trained hospital doctor workforce annually, and evaluated the proposed reformation of the state pension age.

He Yang, September 2013: Determining the effectiveness of the Delphi method for quantifying the drivers of demand for health and social care

He Yang’s project considered the Delphi method used in the CfWI. The objective of this research was to review and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Delphi method as applied to recent CfWI projects, and to make recommendations for improving this method. The Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) method was used in this research, which contained three main steps:

  • conduct independent interviews with several staff members relevant to the Delphi procedure in the CfWI
  • identify the concepts obtained from interviews to develop a cognitive map of the process
  • improve the cognitive map by interviewing some key staff members again.

The research identified issues with the Delphi method, notably a high attrition rate, a time-consuming process and technical limitations with the method. The report recommended an improvement plan using a Delphi workshop method instead of the web-based Delphi, as well as a video Delphi approach based on the workshop Delphi method.

Wei Wei, September 2014: The relationship between risk factors (obesity, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption) and long-term conditions in England

The topic focused on the relationship between risk factors and long term conditions in England. Three significant risk factors were selected, obesity, tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking.

There were two steps in this study - to research the key risk factors for public health in England and find the relevance between those three risk factors and the number of long term conditions people have. The first step is building trends of each risk factor and long term conditions, which are based on the Health survey for England. These tendencies could show the prevalence of risk factors and chronic diseases in England clearly. The next step is applying multiple linear regression and logistic regression to find the association between risk factors and chronic conditions. The main findings showed that the prevalence of people with obesity and people who drink alcohol has an upward trend, the prevalence of smoking has a slight downward trend, and there is a linear relationship between the three risk factors and the prevalence of long term conditions.

Sophie Diarra, September 2014: Modelling the effect of multi-morbidity on the demand for health services in England

This research suggested:

  • Chronic disease multimorbidity and the presence of multiple long-term conditions are important in explaining the demand for health services such as GP consultations, outpatient visits and the number of nights spent in hospital.
  • Using different measures of multimorbidity according to severity, can obtain similar results; people with more than one chronic illness utilise more health services compared to people with a single chronic disease. These results may have important implications for estimating future demand for different types of health services and for workforce planning.
  • With co-existing chronic illnesses becoming more widespread in the population as a whole, workforce planning will be essential to meet the increased demand for health services that accompanies increasing multimorbidity.

This paper has been further adapted and published as a CfWI technical paper. Please see: http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/modelling-the-effect-of-multimorbidity-on-the-demand-for-health-services-in-england-technical-paper

Le My Huong, September 2015: The influence of public health on the demand for health and care in England

The aim of this project was to examine the relationships between public’s health outcomes, local characteristics and public health allocation. The characteristics of local areas, such as, demographics, economic-related criteria, life expectancy were also entered into the analysing process to determine the effect of those features on the funding in public health. This research used existing published data primarily from the official statistics sites of the United Kingdom government, which, include the Office for National Statistics, Public Health England’s Public Health Outcomes Framework, and the Government Digital Service.

Mixed methods of quantitative and semi-quantitative methodologies with the combination of stepwise regression and sensitivity model analysis was adopted as the appropriated approach for this project, as they are both commonly used in identifying associations among variables. Another reason for using this approach is based on the characteristics of the research topic which is known for lacking of previous studies and therefore historical data for processing. The construction of regression model and influence analysis in sensitivity model stages (introduced by Frederic Vester) is the focus of this dissertation. A literature review is also included in this dissertation, which introduces about the England public health system (encompassing the three main concepts: public health outcomes, local characteristics, and the allocation of the public health grant). Applying these methodologies on the foundation of understanding about the public health system will support further research in developing a model for resource allocation.