UKSS Conference June 2018

Can Systems Thinking Save the NHS?

UK Systems Society conference in association with SPMC
University of Portsmouth

June 25th 2018

The NHS is facing major challenges. Citizens expect first class healthcare, life expectancy has increased, people are active for longer and expect “repairs” to be done quickly to restore them to their full capacity. Some expectations are fantasy but others are justifiable yet every day we hear or read about outcomes that give cause for concern. It has been recognised that the NHS cannot continue in its present form.

But the NHS is close to the heart of our citizens making major reforms difficult because of the intense passion that any discussion creates. But the NHS as a ‘System’ is more than 3/4 of a century old. The way that illness and old age are viewed is different to that when the health service was created. There are many strands to the problem but at its centre there are two main considerations for those who wish to make changes – but any change cannot be undertaken in a piecemeal fashion. Two main considerations need to be taken into account:

[1] Can a health service, as a System, be change without endangering those that are in its care?
[2] If so how can these changes be managed?

Call for Papers

Papers are invited from members of any ‘discipline’ who think about a ‘situation of concern’ from a holistic perspective. Holism is used here where there is a recognition that unity of its parts are so close and intense as to be more than the sum of its parts i.e. “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”- the emergent property of the NHS is health care for all.

Papers are invited across the spectrum of intellectual pursuit including health care professions, disciplines allied to medicine, social care, health informatics, ICT specialists, economists, central or local government, politicians and systems thinkers and practitioners from any methodological tradition.

Relevant topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Analyses of challenges facing UK health service
  • Approaches to restructure delivery of primary and secondary health care
  • Boundaries of health care, social care, education and other human systems
  • Relationship of health care to supporting services, e.g. ambulance, paramedic, community services, pharmacies
  • Contributions that IS and/or ICTs can make to health care delivery
  • Relationship between preventative and curative health provision
  • Political and fiscal implications of changes (or non-change) to health provision
  • Consideration of demographics in relation to provision of services
Submission dates

Abstract submission date September 2017
Acceptance Oct 2017
Full papers Dec 2017
Acceptance Feb 2018