This paper addresses the debate concerning the 'added value' of complexity theory for health care research. In particular, it considers the way in which complexity theory can enable researchers to understand the relation between whole system processes and individual, and community, health outcomes. It presents a case study of a process of sustained regeneration which took place on a severely deprived estate in West Cornwall, UK. In so doing, it seeks to add to the stock of new empirical research, upon which debates about the value of complexity theory for health care research need to be founded. It also seeks to determine whether complexity theory can facilitate the transferability of successful regeneration processes from one place, or community, to another.