Care Design 2016

Is flexibility a better term than complexity for this principle?

Steve Sewell
Steve Sewell | Oct 3, 2015 | in #3 Manage for complexity

When I talk about complexity, I can see the panic in the eyes of some. Not everyone is comfortable with the term, and often the feedback from people using care services is that there are already very complex. I wonder if a better term here would be flexibility as I think this is what's really required. Rather than people being routed through a prescriptive route (pathway),  services should be flexible to meet their preferences and needs.

Also, principle 8 has a sub bullet around reducing unnecessary complexity' which may confuse people using the principles.

Victoria Hewitt Oct 9, 2015

Hi Steve - I agree not everyone is comfortable with complexity.  I'd go so far as to say most aren't.  In fact, most leadership discourses within the NHS are heavily controlling to attempt to eliminate or at least deny complexity and uncertainty.  Of course, we need good governance and quality assurance but this seems to be triumphing over other ways? Your point about a potential conflict with principle 8 highlights this perfectly

Janet Wildman Nov 20, 2015

Hi Vicky and Steve, I would like to add another layer to this discussion. With complexity and flexibility we should also start to think about diversity. Is it not possible to use this as a key design principle as it also embraces  key aspects of complexity, flexibility and patient choice? It is only by capturing diverse ideas, disruptive approaches that we can fully understand the capacity and energy to improve health and care services. This seems to be the missing link.