Book Launch: The Dynamics of Care – Understanding People Flows in Health and Social Care

Book Launch: The Dynamics of Care – Understanding People Flows in Health and Social Care

Category : Events , News , Recent

Edinburgh, 12/2/2020, 5.00 for 5.30pm

Authors: Eric Wolstenholme & Douglas McKelvie

Venue: The Melting Pot, 4th Floor, Thorn House, 5 Rose Street, EDINBURGH EH2 2PR .

Date & Time: Wednesday 12 February 2020, 5.00 for 5.30pm

Book Launch Invitation

Eric Wolstenholme and Douglas McKelvie invite you to the launch of their new book, “The Dynamics of Care” (published by Springer, 2019). Please join us from just after 5.00 on Wednesday 12 February at The Melting Pot, 4th Floor. We will start with some refreshments then, shortly after 5.30, Eric and Douglas will be joined by Donald Scott to introduce some themes from the book, with time for discussion. The formalities should be over by 6.30, and you are welcome to stay until 7.00. Copies of the book will be on sale and we will be happy to sign these, or bring any copies you have already purchased and we will sign these too!

To register for the book launch, please use our contact form.


Workshop Invitation

From 2.00 at the same venue, Eric, Douglas and Donny Scott are organising a free workshop as part of the Scottish Government’s Firestarter Festival. The workshop is entitled The Courage to Hold Unconventional Opinions and will include the opportunity for participants to have a hands-on experience of working with some computer models. The target audience for this event is people with little background in building models and places are limited  – this is not an event for expert modellers!

Further details of workshop (including how to register)


More about Eric’s and Douglas’ Book

The book is a compendium of insights, distilled from numerous projects, to shed light on some of the most persistent issues of the day in health and social care. The work demonstrates the importance of embedding the concept of flow into everyday health and social care thinking and creates insights into people’s journeys through different conditions and treatments. It suggests that improving throughput across agencies is the way to improving the performance of health treatment, whereas increasing capacity is the key to improving the performance of social care by retaining independent living. Of course, by increasing social care capacity, we unblock and unlock bottlenecks in the health care system. We need to explore that interconnection, and system dynamics simulation is our contribution.

We argue that balancing health and social care provision can eliminate the many stressful strategies hospitals have to undertake when faced with high demands, and this is a win-win scenario in terms of patients, staff and costs.

Moreover, we show there is a need for better understanding of the dynamics of population ageing, the dynamics of health conditions, workforce planning, and the provision of better, integrated information systems. The book is intended to be a valuable resource for practitioners, clinicians, managers and academics in health, social work, public health and public policy in many countries.

Douglas adds: Eric, one of the founders of System Dynamics in the UK with an international reputation, is my mentor and friend. I learned how to think systemically and build models by working as his apprentice. I am delighted that my Scotland-based friends and collaborators will have the opportunity to meet him and benefit from his insights.

For more information, follow the link to Springer.


What people have said about the book

“A recent report in the British Medical Journal (Global Health) addressed the issue of health system modelling research, emphasising that models should capture the dynamic interactions between the main health system components and acknowledge constraints. This new book by Eric Wolstenholme and Douglas McKelvie describes a methodology (system dynamics) which eminently satisfies that call. Through a number of examples distilled from their extensive consultancy roles in health and social care, they urge a move away from considering specific departments, to a consideration of coupled health systems which transcend organisational boundaries, where inter-connections, inter-dependencies, flows and stocks become the new perspective instead. Those involved in planning for improved service delivery in health and social care can now learn how to rehearse their ideas in silico by deploying simulations which capture the nuances of health systems and can leverage counter-intuitive policy responses.” (Brian Dangerfield, School of Management, University of Bristol, UK)

“Wolstenholme and McKelvie bring two lifetimes of award-winning experience in applying system dynamics to the creation of this new book. In spite of amazing advances in all areas of medical science our medical system as a whole is facing multiple crises. These problems arise from how components of care are organized into a coherent overall system of care. Focused on flows and throughput as key analytic concepts, this new book condenses and focuses insights from over 80 empirical studies within a coherent analytical frame.  All of us interested in and concerned about the cost and quality of maintaining a health population need to read and come to grips with the points that they are making in this important new book.” (David F. Andersen, O’Leary Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York)

“This very welcome book offers the hope of sound and sustainable solutions to persistent and serious problems that not only cause untold misery to millions but also impose considerable costs in many societies. The exceptional work illustrates that it is now feasible to simulate most management and policy challenges we face. These working, quantified simulations are powerful because they mimic the observable behaviour of the systems we want to better-manage. They allow us to experiment, boldly and at trivial cost, with software facsimiles of the real world, rather than on the real world itself. This potential is now recognised in the UK Government report “Computational modelling: Blackett review”, which makes clear that every executive, advisor and policy-maker, in every field of endeavour, should understand what such simulations can do and know how to implement and exploit them.” (Kim Warren, Managing Director Strategy Dynamics, London, UK)

“Since its inception, the NHS has become one of the great unchanging features of the British landscape. The flip side of such permanence is its inability to move with the times and the great frustration of successive governments has been its imperviousness to change in the way that revolutionised air travel or manufacturing. In this timely book, Eric and Douglas peel back the mystique around care delivery. They introduce two key concepts, feedback and flow, and show why any attempt to modernise delivery will fail without carefully responding to these underlying principles. The strength of this book is in the weight of examples culled over many years and explained in the light of two lifetimes of practical experience.” (Terry Young, Professor Emeritus of Health Care Systems, Brunel University, London and Director, Datchet Consulting)


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