Design for health
Sarah Drummond, Valerie Carr and Andy Young explore how a service design approach can facilitate co-design of supportive communities for older people.
Design for Health (2017) illustrates the history of the development of design for health, the various design disciplines and domains to which design has contributed. There are 26 case studies in the book revealing a plethora of design research methodologies and research methods employed in design for health.
We’re delighted that this book has finally been published and Snook’s work is presented alongside some very interesting projects and reflections on the role of design in improving health and well-being.
As a former member of staff at Imagination Lancaster, I worked with Prof Rachel Cooper on a number of projects from 2009-2012 before moving to work at Snook. Rachel has amazing energy and commitment to highlighting the value of design in improving health and wellbeing. She is a series editor for the Routledge Series, Design for Social Responsibility, and this book, Design for Health is the latest in the series.
“The purpose of this book is to summarise the current state of knowledge about the use and application of design in health.”
Design for ageing well
In 2014, Emmanuel Tsekleves, who is co-editor of this book, invited us to write a chapter as part of the theme ‘Design for ageing well’. We were asked to provide a brief introduction to service and co-design approaches with older people and focus on case studies showing how Snook had developed and applied service design methods and tools in our work with older people. We submitted our chapter in 2015 so the projects discussed are not our most up-to-date. They do showcase three quite disparate projects that all involved older people in co-designing services to enable them to maintain well-being and remain active in their own homes and local communities.
Snook’s chapter is titled ‘Exploring how a service design approach can facilitate co-design of supportive communities and service frameworks for older people’. We discuss three specific projects – the methods and tools used and we reflect on the learnings.
- BRIDGE (Building Relationships in Deprived General Practice Environments)
- Care Information Scotland Service Redesign
- Responsive Interactive Advocate (RITA)
BRIDGE stands for Building relationships in deprived general practice environments. This project used participatory methods with staff in general practices, community organisations and older people. This was done to understand, co-design and ‘road-test’ a system in which general practices in deprived areas identified older people in need and helped them access resources and/or participate in activities known to help prevent or delay disablement and enhance well-being.
Care Information Scotland Service Redesign
This project used participatory methods with staff in general practices, community organisations and older people to understand, co-design and ‘road-test’ a system in which general practices in deprived areas identified older people in need and helped them access resources and/or participate in activities known to help prevent or delay disablement and enhance well-being.
Responsive Interactive Advocate (RITA)
RITA has been developed as an avatar-based support system under Innovate UK’s Long Term Care Revolution. A reference group of older people (aged between 54 and 81) were involved in the co-design of the RITA service concept and helped to identify the challenges and opportunities for a digitally-based support system.
We finally sum up the learning from the different projects and conclude that a key element of effective services for the ageing population will be their ability to integrate a whole person with a whole systems approach. Fragmented services delivered in isolation cannot solve the intractable problems of sustainability in both human and economic terms.
“We believe that service systems and service design approach provides the methods and tools to respond to the complexity of multi-layered services, and enables and supports people to co-design new, dynamic and personalised service models that help create a network of supportive communities that will enable us all to age well in place.”