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Impact of special events on Accident and Emergency attendance in NHS Wales

Patient attendance in the emergency department (ED) is inherently variable and unpredictable. Shifts in the supply of and demand for emergency department (ED) resources make the efficient allocation of ED resources increasingly important. Forecasting is a vital activity that guides decision-making in capacity planning. Resources might be better allocated if use of the resources could be predicted considering various events.

There are few studies that explore the use of forecasting methods to predict patient volumes in the ED, however in most of the cases the effect of special events such as festivals, sport events, holidays is not considered.

The goals of this study is to explore and evaluate the impact of special events in using several statistical forecasting methods to predict ED patient volumes. A new model will be developed considering special events and will be compared to a benchmark and existing time series forecasting methods.

Indicative research question(s):

  • What are various categories of special events impacting the emergency attendance in NHS?
  • Which events should be considered to build a forecasting model?
  • What is the impact of special events on time series forecasting methods?
  • Which forecasting model should be considered when it comes to handling special events?
  • Which forecasting method provide more accurate results?