Dr Thomas Monks is exDirector of Data Science for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration in Leadership and Applied Health Research (CLAHRC) Wessex. Thomas is a methodologist with expertise is in applying computer simulation methods, mathematical modelling and machine learning in health service delivery.

He joined University of Southampton in  2014 as part of NIHR CLAHRC Wessex. Prior to this he worked at University of Exeter Medical School as part of their healthcare Operational Research group. His early career was in computer science, software engineering and operational research in the private and public sectors. His work focuses on the translation of Data Science and Operational Research tools to health and social care.

Research interests

Dr Monks’ research interests are related to the translation and application of data science and operational research in healthcare.

Real-time decision support systems: The onset of faster computer simulation and collection of real-time service delivery data to support machine learning means that the NHS can begin to adopt predictive and decision support tools for managing its demand. His research aims to explore how current developments in data science and operational research can be adapted and applied in healthcare (particularly in U&EC and community settings) and the gaps in current methodology for real-time prediction.

Implementation science: His research here is focussed on understanding the mechanisms the enable or prohibit the successful uptake of mathematical modelling and machine learning to improve service delivery in health and social care services.

Urgent and emergency care: This includes computer simulation, particularly discrete-event simulation of accident and emergency departments, computer simulation stroke services (particularly stroke thrombolysis), machine learning aiming to predict emergency demand and identifying intra-hospital barriers to patient flow.

Community services: His work in community services is concerned with logistics. Recent work has considered the provision and access of sexual health services in Hampshire, the development of routing and scheduling tools to coordinate how teams of nurses visit patients in their own homes, and the costs and consequences of different modes of delivering point of care testing for LRTI in the primary care.

Safe staffing of hospitals: His work with Professor Peter Griffiths is concerned with mathematical modelling of hospital staffing policies and how these decisions affect patient safety long term.