Forecasting the demand on accident and emergency departments in health districts in the Trent region.Stat Med. 1988 Oct; 7(10):1061-72.SM
The annual new, return and total attendances at Accident and Emergency (A and E) Departments for Trent district and the whole of the Trent region are forecast for the years 1986 to 1994 by using the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series model applied to the SH3 A and E returns for 1974 to 1985. The 1986 forecasts of annual new, return and total attendances in Trent districts are compared with the actual attendances observed; the new attendance forecasts were found accurate, the return attendance forecasts less so. The latter may reflect inability to predict changing policies on return attendances of individual A and E departments. The 1994 ARIMA forecasts of annual A and E new attendances for Trent districts are compared with the 1984 based regional guidelines for 1994 and the projections for individual districts. Both the ARIMA models and the health districts' own projections produce a different forecast to the 1994 regional guideline which seems to overestimate. The forecasting methodology used has other applications in health care planning.