Doctor with a patient

Using Geographical Information Systems to inform service design

Using GIS mapping evidence over 1,330 square miles in Somerset we helped to improve service provision for stroke patients.

The challenge

As part of a major service review, Somerset CCG were considering closing the Yeovil stroke unit, with all patients needing to travel to Taunton Hospital. They wanted to assess the impact of changes to travel times that this would cause on the speed of treatment and patient outcomes.

Somerset CCG tasked our Insights Health Geographical Information Systems (GIS) team to complete a systematic analysis of how proposals to centralise stroke services would impact the whole population of Somerset. 

Our approach

We applied our sophisticated GIS mapping and analytics methodology to provide critical evidence that informed the CCGs service review decision and directly improved service provision for stroke patients across an area covering 1,330 square miles.

Mapping offered a visual analysis tool that could provide comprehensive travel time analysis covering emergency vehicles and private and public transport options, to identify the implications of change.

The critical evidence we produced informed Somerset CCGs future planning process and ultimately led to the decision to retain both stroke services in the county.

The outcome

Delivery of a strong evidence‐based analysis for Somerset CCG indicated the best clinical outcomes achievable with the available resources, leading to better decision-making behind such a critical service.

Our study confirmed that the clinical benefits of closing the Yeovil stroke unit would be far less significant than had previously been anticipated. In fact, the increased travel times would have a detrimental impact on the speed of treatment for many stroke patients.

By using sophisticated GIS software tools, our professionals illustrated previously complex data sets in a visual, simple presentation which enabled the CCG to finalise their decision on delivery of the best care for stroke patients and led to the decision to retain both stroke units.

The methodology and techniques we used can easily be replicated in other geographical areas and be widely applied to a wide range of service reviews and commissioning decisions.

For more information contact Director of BI Innovation and Transformation, Catherine Dampney via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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