Thursday, 22 October 2009

Morris the Oracle

Morris has the ability to see into the future and was predicting the number of people likely to need renal replacement therapy in London last week. MORRIS, the model for optimising renal replacement investment and services is the capacity planning model that Daisy Wild, David Pearce, and David Halsall from the Clinical Policy Strategy and Analytical team at the Department of Health have been developing with Charlie Tomson and David Ansell at the Renal Registry and Ruth Davies at Warwick University to model demand for renal replacement therapy over the next 10 years. Specialist Commissioning Groups, Network leads, SHA renal IT champions and clinicians came together on 15 October for the launch of MORRIS which has been constructed to support policy making and commissioning of renal replacement therapy services for adults in England.

The model is populated with data at the Local Authority level for the whole of England and users can select their own SHA to run the programme. Results can be produced by Local Authority, Renal Centre and Primary Care Trust. Current levels of renal replacement therapy have been input from the Renal Registry returns and default values for acceptance rates, transplantation and mortality have been derived from recent national data but can be adjusted by the user to more accurately represent local conditions, local projections and test alternative scenarios.

MORRIS uses a combination of an Excel spreadsheet and a dynamic simulation software model built in the software package iThink. Although the Excel file provides the main interface for the model, there is also a user interface in iThink where users can make simple changes to the input, run new scenarios and view high level output. The results of these scenarios can then be exported to the Excel model file.

The model has now been through a few iterations and I am most grateful to the advice and support of Paul Roderick, David Ansell, Ruth Davies, Lawrence Goldberg, John Bradley, Kevin Harris and Paul Stevens during this phase.
The model gives people a very wide range of possibilities of changing the key variables and to begin with this can be quite daunting. MORRIS is now available for anyone who wishes to use the model. NHS Kidney Care will be supporting the roll out of MORRIS and we would be very interested in hearing comments and views of all stakeholders.