The UK is currently facing an unprecedented challenge supporting the NHS and critical key workers in the fight to save lives of those with COVID-19. In addition, there is a pressing need to support UK businesses and citizens who are impacted by the social distancing policy (Public Health England, 16th March 2020) and crisis measures which will continue to have a serious impact on the UK economy, employment and wellbeing of society for the foreseeable future. (Baldwin and Weder di Mauro 2020, Bell et al. 2020).
BACKLOG will produce a secure cloud-based geospatial context aware resource and appointment allocation decision support service to aid NHS and public health service providers safely and effectively clear the backlog of outpatients and small interventions. The complexity of scheduling and managing this backlog is immense as the traditional systems available to service leaders do not take into account the short-term, third-party, and mobile resources being made available in light of the COVID-19 response. The scheduling systems also do not take into account patient separation, availability of "clean" clinics, and the mobility of the patients.
The main aim of the BACKLOG project is to inject geospatial intelligence into the NHS and other community and public health services ERP, and appointment and booking systems. This aim will be met by achieving the following 5 objectives within the 6-month project period. (1) The project will exploit existing platform solutions to deploy an analytics-as-a-service platform; (2) adapt an existing location-allocation model to reflect the realities of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal to follow; (3) interface with NHS workflows and support flexible solution given the ad-hoc operating status of the various services;(4) demonstrate the value of the BACKLOG system by applying it to one affected NHS service; and (5) lay the groundwork for future exploitation and commercialisation by producing marketing material and on-boarding other services during the life of the project.