We all know the health and social care system is complex. It’s complex for the people that work in it which can only emphasise how daunting it is for the people that navigate it. In an attempt to try and rationalise how the system relates to individuals we’ve created this system map to demonstrate how the borders of accountability relate to a fairly typical person.

For much of our work, we use Tracey as an example of someone that typically accesses services. You can see that Tracey wants help and support with a number of issues, many of which relate to each other. Unpicking these issues will require different parts of the system to integrate together around Tracey. It’s very unlikely that any single service will be able to help Tracey manage all of the things going on in her life which means that at some point a referral is going to happen.

As referrals happen they inevitably mean that some sort of data transaction occurs. In order to help Tracey to engage with services, it is essential that any sort of a data transaction happens with as little friction as possible whilst maintaining her confidence that this is being done as securely as possible.

Our system map shows how the different parts of Tracey’s life relate to the wider system and how they create an exponential need for data.

How the system integrates around people like Tracey is fundamental to how her life situation and overall health and wellbeing will improve. It’s not Tracey’s responsibility to understand the complexity of the system. It’s the responsibility of the system to minimise friction and to see Tracey as an individual rather than a competing range of health and wellbeing needs.