A primary care trust has won an award for its use of a computer-based simulation programme to forecast the impact of a proposed new care pathway.

East Riding PCT used the Scenario Generator tool to look at its plan for a new pathway to reduce the chances and numbers of falls and to cut attendance for falls at A&E.

It had calculated that 16.2% of all attendances at A&E were due to a fall and that about 70% of these could be cared for in the community.

The tool, which was jointly developed by business simulation software suppliers Simul8 and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, helped the PCT to produce a simulation of its suggested pathway and demonstrated that it would be the most effective and efficient way of delivering care.

Jo Gaunt, assistant director of service improvement at the PCT, said the tool gave the PCT a greater understanding and confidence to invest in the new pathway.

She added: “It helped us to see the impact of a new pathway over time, the volumes of activity we were likely to need to plan for and how we could best deliver quality and value for money. I would say that we are less risk averse but more confident about managing risk as a result.”

The PCT won the service improvement award in its local Health and Social Care Awards final and the project will now go on to the regional finals. The PCT has also decided to use Scenario Generator to examine eight other proposed new pathways that aim to shift care into the community.

The NHS Institute bought a license for the Scenario Generator tool for every PCT in the country and so far more than 120 PCTs have taken up the offer to use the tool and take advantage of the accompanying training from the Institute and Simul8.