A West Country ICS is introducing new ‘intelligent care traffic control centres’, using AI technology to visualise current healthcare demand, capacity and to predict future need.

Working with British AI firm Faculty AI – Intelligent Decision Systems, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS is building control centres, which will deliver critical 24/7 data insights and use predictive analytics to plan services efficiently.

Using data from ambulance services, NHS 111 calls, social care, virtual wards, mental health services and other sources in the region, patients across the West Country will benefit from improved planning, with staff being empowered to act on real-time insights allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently.

The solution will be used to view activity and staff levels and up-coming patient demand, as well as visualise harm and predict future demand levels.

Delivery director at Faculty Zillah Anderson said: “We are committed to helping hospital systems get more from their data – using cutting-edge AI technology to empower frontline staff decision-making and improve patient care.

“These new intelligent care traffic control centres will equip staff across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire with critical insights to optimise decision-making and allocate resources most effectively, proactively managing patient demand and improving care.”

Once the initial control centre is launched, the West Country ICS and Faculty will continue to deploy AI functionalities to deliver vital information to NHS managers to help them better understand how and when their services may be needed.

This will include forecasting patient flow, patient harm and scenario planning to improve operational decision-making and urgent and emergency care performance across the region.

The dashboard is being co-developed with colleagues working across the ICS, to ensure it can be quickly adopted by frontline teams and support decision-making.

Faculty has previously worked with NHS Wales to deploy AI tech that helps predict a patient’s length of stay upon their arrival. At the Hywel Dda University Health Board, the technology is predicted to save more than 3,000 bed days, allowing 900 elective patients to be treated instead.

The company also helped build the Covid-19 Early Warning System, helping hospitals to forecast admissions during the pandemic.

Previously, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire worked to reduce urgent care visits through a service design project, in partnership with NHS 111 and Mace & Menter.