Better health, social care and well-being needs to become more community orientated. This is where most people focus much of their time and attention. It is where people live. The NHS is the ‘crown jewel’ at the heart of our communities.

Community care starts at home. The house is a vital part of this. It is the main residence of the individual citizen and their families.   How things connect together is critical. Everything is connected by networks- the body (neural), the house (plumbing, gas, electricity), villages through to the cities (transport infrastructure and the like).  Maps and signposts become critical to planning the best route for a journey across disparate networks.

The NHS is a massively complex city, made up of many disparate parts, knitted together over time. Some parts are shiny and new, some are old and lashed together. Unfortunately, the connectivity map seems to have become fragmented and, in places, gone missing. Today, navigating the NHS city is too complex, whether a patient or a front-line worker.

Technology is an enabler- it is not the whole solution. However, it can help to connect the disparate networks and join things together and should always sit at the heart of strategic planning. It is a prerequisite. Solid foundational infrastructure is an absolute baseline requirement for building houses and cities. Think top down, build bottom up.

In this paper, Dan, an IHM member, uses the analogy of building a house to explain how this concept can be used for technology planning, which will support better health and care for communities and populations.

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