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Future Meetings

A Clustered Overflow Configuration of Inpatient Beds in Hospitals

Venue: School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Dr Navid Izady, City Business School, University of London
Date: Tuesday, 14 November 2017 at 17:45 - 19:00

The next SWORDS event will take place in Cardiff University School of Mathematics on the 14th of November 2017. The speaker is Dr Navid Izady of City Business School. Refreshments will be available from 5.15pm in room M/1.04 and the talk will commence at 5.45pm in E/0.15. 


The shortage of inpatient beds is a major cause of delays and cancellations in many hospitals. It may also lead to patients being admitted to inappropriate wards, resulting in lower quality of care, longer length of stay and higher rate of mortality. Due to financial, legislative, staffing or space constraints, adding new beds is not always feasible. Instead, new and creative solutions for more efficient use of existing resources must be sought.

We propose a new configuration of inpatient beds in hospitals which we refer to as the clustered overflow configuration. In this configuration patients who are denied admission to their primary wards as a result of beds being fully occupied are admitted to overflow wards, each designated to serve overflows from a certain subset of specialties. We propose a novel analytical methodology for optimal partitioning and bed allocation in the proposed configuration, and apply it on real data to generate insight and also to compare the new configuration with other configurations common in practice.

The numerical analysis of the results shows that the proposed configuration could substantially improve the number of patients admitted at the expense of marginal increase in nursing cost. The improvements reduce with traffic intensity and impact of focus but still substantial when both parameters are high. The proposed configuration provides the combined advantages of the dedicated configuration, where patients are only admitted to their primary wards, and the flexible configuration, where excess demand is absorbed in non-primary wards. On the other hand, it restricts the adverse impacts of sharing through optimal partitioning and bed allocation. As such it serves as a viable alternative to existing configurations in hospitals.

The Mathematics of Networks and Maps

Venue: Cardiff University School of Mathematics
Speaker: Dr Rhyd Lewis, Cardiff University
Date: Wednesday, 13 December 2017 at 17:30 - 21:00

This event will be followed by a pub quiz and dinner. Details will follow. 


How do satnavs find the quickest route from one town to another? What’s the most efficient way to visit the best pubs in the UK? Is it true that all living things in the world are six or fewer degrees of separation away from each other? In this talk I will shows, pictorially, how the many problems in everyday life can be modelled as networks: from the colouring of maps to the way Facebook makes friend recommendations.