Soft Service Design: Interventions in Complex Social Determinants

Peter Jones Design for Care, Service Design, Social Systems Design

Design for Health (2017) Design for Health – Published by Routledge May 2017,   Edited by Emmanuel Tsekleves and Rachel Cooper (Editorial overview of book and chapters) Chapter 3:  Soft Service Design around the Envelope of Healthcare (Peter Jones) Better alternatives to improving population health have been sought by healthcare policymakers and the front-line clinicians who see patients in everyday care settings. While public health experts and primary care clinicians recognize the significant effects on health from social determinant factors they have limited tools for addressing these causal factors in their patient’s lives. Systemic improvements to a population’s social ecology are considerable challenges from within the “envelope” of a healthcare system. The service design challenge I propose and aim to answer is that of, can we better intervene outside of and around the envelope of the healthcare system? In mental health and primary care contexts, we find that systemic factors and social determinants (such as environment, housing, social lifestyle, food accessibility) account for a significant proportion of presented conditions that are treated as mental illness. The primary care and mental health systems are …