Learning and development specialist Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS) is working with the NHS Improvement to deliver training to 400 people across England.


The programme aims to provide these students with the skills to enable them to train their NHS colleagues in the operation and implementation of Demand and Capacity (D&C) models.


ELS is delivering three modules within the NHS Improvement D&C Programme. They cover:

  • Effectively leading D&C change Initiatives
  • Designing and delivering training
  • Developing and supporting D&C stakeholders


According to the NHS Improvement, the mismatch between capacity and demand is a key reason why waiting lists or backlogs develop and waiting lists and waiting times increase. Understanding the outputs of robust demand and capacity modelling is a fundamental requirement for the planning and delivery of healthcare services in a modern health and social care system.


The ELS programme, which will be conducted over the next three years, uses a blended approach where the classroom has been ‘flipped’.


ELS’s Marc Waterman explained, “The knowledge-based material in the programme is contained within the NHS’s virtual learning environment (VLE), or learning management system (LMS), and is accessed electronically. The face-to-face element of the programme reinforces the learning of this knowledge and – importantly – enables delegates to practise the skills they need.


“A webinar concludes each segment of the programme, allowing the delegates to reflect on, and cement, their learning in preparation for the next module in the programme.”


He added, “The programme aims to provide the knowledge and skills needed to bring about a shared understanding between providers and commissioners on demand, capacity, bottlenecks and constraints.


“This can help them, among other things, to embed trainers into the local health economies to support understanding, to enable demand and capability modelling, and also apply best practice.”


The national Demand and Capacity programme was established in 2016 to support the NHS to better understand demand and plan sufficient capacity, so that patients do not wait unnecessarily for treatment. Jointly sponsored by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the programme aims to:

  • Work with system leaders and support them in the development of local capacity, capability and confidence in demand and capacity modelling and reduce reliance upon external or central expert resources.
  • Develop and deliver a national training programme to embed knowledge and expertise within local health economies.
  • Make sure the principles, methodological approaches and datasets are understood and recognised by both commissioner and provider organisations, in order to produced shared health economy plans.
  • Develop a suite of national tools and models which are produced to an approved and accepted methodology to make sure there is a consistency of approach.
  • Support and inform the production of robust activity plans at local organisational level and place-based unit level as required for future planning rounds.


Founded in 2005, Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS) is a learning and development (L&D) consultancy that believes in using original and challenging solutions to inspire, enthuse and empower people to meet its clients’ needs. Working with clients in the public, private and business sectors worldwide, ELS focuses on organisation-oriented needs analysis; leadership and management; training and development – applying a systems approach to training methodology; learning technology; education; coaching and mentoring; HR development, as well as specialist expertise in the public sector including in defence issues.