Loughborough scholar wins top prize for research that transformed health care and social services


The Operational Research Society has awarded Dr Antuela Tako, Operations Research Lecturer for Loughborough University School of Business and Economics, the President’s Medal 2021 for research that has helped transform health and social care services in Leicestershire .

Together with Prof. Stewart Robinson (Loughborough University), Anastasia Gogi (Business Process Consultant, Hellenic Sea Lines SC) and Prof. Zoe Radnor (Assistant Vice-Chancellor, University of Law), the research project on simulation modeling SMITEGR8 was developed and used to improve community services offered by health and welfare agencies in Leicestershire and Rutland.

The elderly and vulnerable are now better supported within the community, which allows them to live at home – relatively independently – longer.

To overcome existing barriers to the adoption of practice changes by health and social care providers, stakeholders were actively encouraged to participate in the simulation modeling process to help co-design the required changes.

This has dramatically increased the engagement and success of organizational improvements that have both improved services and saved money.

Impact on the Leicestershire light bulb service

One of the main beneficiaries of their work is Ampule which provides patient-centered support improving well-being and independence in the home.

This service offers housing support solutions, including walk-in showers and stairlifts for the frail and the elderly, helping them stay safe in their homes and preventing falls, reducing the need for hospital beds.

Dr. Tako’s research has helped identify changes in processes and workforce setup, resulting in a simpler and shorter user journey, meaning changes or services take less time to be completed. carried out.

Bulb – health gains with financial benefits

In addition to improving the quality of life and well-being of people, research undertaken at Loughborough has resulted in a number of financial efficiencies:

The Lightbulb redesign resulted in a 50% reduction in service costs per case, saving around £ 360,000 (2017-19).

The reduction in falls has saved the local health and care economy £ 21,000 per year.

Lightbulb has helped reduce the length of hospital stays, saving £ 22,000 per patient.

The improvements to her service had already been recognized by the Association for Public Service Excellence’s Best Collaborative Working Initiative 2017 and the Local Government Chronicle Awards in 2018. She was also highly commended by the Home Improvement Agency Awards’ Collaboration Award 2017.

The former Director of Health and Care Integration at Leicestershire County Council said of the research: “The SIMTEGR8 modeling has been a critical part of the development of the care pathway and the pilot assessment process during the development phase of this project …

“[It] helped to prove the concept both operationally and financially. The service has since been fully implemented and put into service on a recurring basis over several years.

‘The project has provided a credible evidence base to support the argument for continued investment in the service and has been of huge benefit in the context of the NHS, where decisions on the allocation of funds are taken on very solid business cases. ”

Medal of the President of the Operational Research Society

The Operational Research Society awards The President’s Medal research that demonstrates the most successful operations research (OR) practice and is judged on the level of demonstrable benefit, intellectual and novel content of the solution, likely longevity of the solution, and excellence of the RO process.

Commenting on Antuela’s achievements, Professor Jan Godsell, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University, said: “The increasing pressure on public services to do more with less underscores the importance of ” adopt an evidence-based approach. Modeling approaches such as SIMTEGR8 demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved when academic expertise is harnessed to solve societal problems. It’s fantastic to see that the real impact of Antuela’s work is recognized by the OR company, through their most prestigious award ”.

Dr Antuela Tako is part of Loughborough University Management science and operations academic group and leader of the research interest group on simulation practice.

Learn more about the SMITEGR8 simulation modeling research project.



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