Suffolk and North East Essex Eyecare Demand and Capacity Modelling


Attain was commissioned by Suffolk and North East Essex ICS to model the current and future demand for eye care services within Suffolk and North East Essex ICS. The long-term purpose was to identify the existing and potential capacity of all eye care services across the ICS to inform the creation of a model to provide a sustainable service for the future. The short-term objectives were to identify current system demand, and to identify existing system capacity restrictions across workforce, equipment, estates, and IT (referral and payment).


What we did


  1. Engaged with the Acute, Private, Community and all Ophthalmology providers within the ICS region to collect data and get their thoughts on how capacity could be increased and barriers to change.
  2. Combined this feedback with data from ESR, demographic modelling, HEE data and activity, and waiting list and pathway data to develop a model that showed future demand and capacity to inform ICS-level decision making.
  3. Modelled scenarios based on actions taken to increase capacity.
  4. Provided the ICS with baseline capacity (by sector, procedure and site), demand forecasting by demographic, workforce modelling, and opportunities for capacity expansion.



  • Created a future vision of an ICS eyecare service that could meet future service demands with the input from all providers (Acute, Private and Community), and that all group members clearly understood with delivery recommendations in practical steps.
  • The modelling identified where demand would increase across the system with an ageing population and with the forecast workforce (looking at healthcare workers entering and leaving), as well as identifying ICS existing contracts and recommending new procurement strategy.
  • The gaps in NHS capacity were combined with the private sector input on what additional capacity they could provide, and how they could demonstrate they would bring in new workforce to the ICS rather than taking NHS staff.
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