Midlothian service mapping - Case Study

Midlothian service mapping - Case Study

Midlothian systems map

Great to be able to see mapping out of the services in a visual way, and the documentation – I work in the community and it just allowed to you see all the systems we have that don’t even talk to each other.


Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership aimed to transform traditional models of care to enable the increasing numbers of people living with frailty to achieve their best possible quality of life.

The Midlothian Pathfinder carried out a visual, interactive service mapping with professionals from health, social care and the voluntary sector who support people living with frailty. Using a three-stage process, they mapped the flow of information and documentation across the existing systems and visually mapped the knowledge flow for a person living with severe frailty. The interactive visual mapping technique enabled the professionals to explore the system from multiple perspectives, developing their understanding of its complexity as the map was created.

The research process involved a range of activities.


Service mapping

Service mapping with professionals supporting people living with frailty took place early in the process. Professionals from health, social care and the voluntary sector participated.

The three step process was:

1. Mapping the people and documents/artefacts in the current system (individually, in ‘sectors’ and cross sectors).

Participants started with portions of maps divided into four quadrants. If the person requiring support was imagined at the center of the map, other services and elements were placed in ways that represented their distance from the person and sector.
The quadrants were then assembled into a whole map.

2. Using the collective map as a tool for a multi-perspective dialogue about the current system
The collective map was used as a tool for a multi-perspective dialogue about the current system of care.

3. Participants then mapped the knowledge flow through the system for one person living with severe frailty.

Time to step back and say: this is why my job is so difficult – visual representation of information and communication gaps; of assumptions where communication should happen but doesn’t.



Headline insights were collected at each stage

Throughout the process, the participants built up a picture of the system of care for people living with frailty from the perspectives of the many different professionals involved. This highlighted the complexity of the system and identified opportunities to support professionals and citizens to better navigate and co-ordinate care.

Visual models helped bring the complexity to life for the individual participants – to see how the parts interrelated. The three-step process, starting from their own role, moving to sector and then putting everything together helped to place their own contribution within this complexity.

Last Updated: 23 February 2024