REF2014 Impact Case Study: The use of goal programming to optimise resource allocation in hospitals in the UK and China.

Impact: Health & Welfare Impacts

Description of impact

The Logistics and Operational Research Group (LORG) in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Portsmouth has developed novel models, based on a combination of discrete event simulation, multi-phase queuing theory, and goal programming, that have improved the understanding of ward logistics by hospital managers in the UK and China.

Who is affected

Portsmouth Hospitals Trust; Zichan Hospital, China; Hospital staff; Patients


Goal programming is one of the most widely known and used techniques within the field of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) with decision makers appreciating its relative simplicity and ease of use. Members of the LORG have been involved in advancing the theory and application of goal programming since 1993.
Managers of hospital units are required to allocate medical resources in accordance with, sometimes conflicting, objectives and performance targets. The research undertaken by the LORG has enabled hospital managers to make changes that have improved the efficiency of bed allocation, patient flow and allocation of medical resources and improved outcomes for patients.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactHealth & Welfare Impacts
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)


  • healthcare resource optimisation
  • Portsmouth hospitals trust


  • REF2014