A Whole systems approach
We live in a complex, messy world where our health is affected by numerous social, economic and environmental interactions. To address modern public health challenges, such as obesity, air pollution, reducing teen pregnancies and alcohol-related harm, we must find ways to understand and influence the numerous interconnected factors that affect our lives.
A whole systems approach is the most promising way to help us make a step change in the way we address such issues. Using systems thinking to look at, learn about and understand complex situations, a whole systems approach:
· Responds to complexity through an ongoing, dynamic and flexible way of working
· Enables stakeholders to come together and share an understanding of the reality of the challenge and consider how the system is operating
· Identifies the greatest opportunities for change
· Generates sustainable change by stakeholders agreeing actions and deciding as a network how to work together in an integrated way