Whole Systems Partnership Cohort Model

Whole Systems Partnership

Quick link to the model

These were compiled in 2012 and have not been updated.

Important note: new users are advised to read the accompanying workbook before using the tool, or to get support from an experienced user.

What is the model?

The Whole Systems Partnership (WSP) Cohort Model for End of Life Care is a systems model (i.e. it takes account of the relationships between elements of a system).

Who will it help?

Anybody involved in the strategic planning for end of life care services, including clinicians, commissioners or senior managers. Its population approach and recognition of the full breadth of care and support needed also makes it an ideal tool to support partnership working between health and social care at a strategic level.

Case studies of tool deployment

During the autumn of 2011, seven locations had the tool calibrated to their local demographics. Three locations then received further support to facilitate use of the tool inluding the use of local death statistics, targets for improved recognition of End of Life Care needs and targets for improved choice of place of death. Case studies relating to this work and sample reports provide further details of this process. For further information about the tool please contact Peter Lacey or go to the Whole Systems Partnership website.


What does the model do?

  • It identifies the number of people, in a typical population of 200,000, whose end of life care needs will follow one of five trajectories of illness – cancer, frailty, organ failure, other terminal, sudden death – from 2011 to 2021.
  • It considers the impacts of changing demography, earlier recognition of end of life care needs, and realising choice of place of death on community support and the community workforce. The methodology underpinning the workforce element is explained in more detail in the Skills for Health Workforce Functional Analysis Tool.
  • It provides an estimate of the reduction in numbers of hospital admissions that will be achieved through the implementation of the National End of Life Care Strategy, in line with QIPP expectations. This is supported by outputs from the Yorkshire and the Humber Co-design Model (formerly known as the Yorkshire and the Humber Commissioner Financial Model).
  • It provides the context within which local discussion about strategy and partnership working can be undertaken.

What does the model not do?

  • The model is not predictive in the sense of identifying individuals for whom alternatives at end of life can be provided, although it is based on clinical opinion about the needs of individuals.
  • It does not provide a comprehensive costings methodology for end of life care services, although it makes a contribution to identifying costs for the community workforce.

How do I use the model?

The tool is designed to frame discussions between strategic partners about implementing the National Strategy for End of Life Care. It is best used in combination with:

  • a comprehensive local assessment of end of life care services involving all key partners, informed by using the workbook and other material and intelligence available on the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network website;
  • strategic commitments about end of life care services, developed jointly with partners, including the Local Authority, and wherever possible reflecting needs across the whole last year of life – for example, targets for reducing deaths in hospital or improving early recognition and the use of locality registers.

We strongly recommend that before using the Cohort Model you familiarise yourself with the workbook and assumptions, read this short report or watch introductory video above.

Support for users

Whilst every effort has been made to enable people to use the tool independently, support is available from neolcin at phe dot gov.uk link  or Peter Lacey at Whole Systems Partnership.

The model can be used offline by requesting a CD version.

A presentation suitable as an executive briefing can be downloaded here as well as a short report outlining the approach and high level outputs.

For information about local calibration of this tool, or to get involved in its ongoing development, please contact Peter Lacey at Whole Systems Partnership.

To find out about other applications of systems modelling and the wider work undertaken by Whole Systems Partnership, please visit the Whole Systems Partnership website.

Return to the End of Life Care Modelling Tools page

Related resources

End of Life Care Profiles
Data Sources
Advice and information
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