matchable is a new service that connects design students with the health and well-being sector.

There is an exciting opportunity for Scotland’s world class health service to be designed in collaboration with our world class art schools. The four major art schools in Scotland offer product design courses which include elements of service design. Heads of Design have expressed great interest in contributing to redesign of health services and students will have a valuable opportunity to apply and develop their talent and knowledge in the ‘real’ world.

The Quality Strategy describes an aim to develop a world class health service:

“We will have to involve the people of Scotland to a greater extent in the co-production of health and health care…recognising and valuing diversity, promoting a person-centred approach and involving people in the design and delivery of healthcare.”

Snook believe innovation will be a vital factor in developing public services in a climate of financial restraint and generation of ideas will be key. Involving people co-designing healthcare systems requires approaches developed in asset, improvement and social innovation models.

The idea of tapping into the creativity of art schools has been rehearsed in the ALISS project (Access to Local Information to Support Self Management). The ALISS Project worked with Snook and FutureGov to use innovative approaches to generate ideas about self-management of long-term conditions. The project’s principle aim is to improve “findability” of local resources which will support self management which will be achieved through the technology part of the ALISS project.

In March 2010 ALISS ran an Open Innovation Process which concluded in a 2 day Innovation Workshop. Bright enthusiastic final-year design students and people living with long term conditions, and staff from NHS Scotland, Scottish Government and voluntary sector came together to produce 6 first class ideas for improvement. The students appreciated an opportunity to practice techniques and people with long term conditions enjoyed developing ideas for improvement. This collaborative effort can be replicated nationwide under the aegis of the Quality Strategy and has great potential to improve the way health services in Scotland are designed and developed.

The key task is to connect two communities – this will be organised through establishing a brokerage service, where interested parties can connect to use simple service design techniques.

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