There is a planned upgrading programme for the national healthcare security in the Staffordshire County which is made up of the following districts:
? East Staffordshire
? South Staffordshire
? Staffordshire Moorlands
There is a community hospital in each of the districts above. East Staffordshire districtâ€™s community hospital will host the health record server for residents in the county.
Dedicated underground cables will be laid to link up all the community hospitals in the county which will eventually be able to access the server hosted at East Staffordshire. Table 3-1 shows the costs incurred (in thousands of pounds) to connect the hospitals. Note that values in the lower triangle (grey cells) of Table 3-1 are omitted for brevity, and they are symmetric to the values in the upper triangle; for example, the cost between Newcastle-under-Lyme and East Staffordshire is the same as the cost between East Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Also note that it is not feasible for direct connection between some districts due to geographical constraints (e.g., between East Staffordshire and Lichfield).
Table 3-1Between Lichfield And South Staffordshire East Staffordshire Stafford Staffordshire Moorlands Tamworth Newcastle under- Lyme 25 50 42 70 35 46 32 40 35 East Staffordshire Lichfield Newcastle-under- Lyme South Staffordshire Stafford Staffordshire Moorlands Tamworth 60 28 62 36
(a) Draw an appropriate network model using the information in Table 3-1 and propose a possible cost optimal solution to the case.
(b) If Table 3-1 represents the distance (in km) via highway between the district hospitals, and East Staffordshire district hospital is the distribution hub for COVID19 vaccines, which are extremely unstable and need to be transported swiftly once they are out of the hospital cold storage facility, recommend a possible solution to this scenario.