Creating a homely care experience

Embedding design inside a national care agency
Amputee male in wheel chair on street with friends
An eldrerly woman and a younger health visitor talking and holding hands

Feedback innovation

In 2014 Carr Gomm came to Snook with a challenge. In a quest to consistently improve and innovate their services, they had started collecting feedback from staff and clients via a customer experience group. However they were struggling to put the feedback into action. Furthermore, with the introduction of Self Directed Support in 2013, more people were taking charge of the services they chose to invest in, making the health and care landscape more competitive. They needed to stay relevant, innovative and – most importantly – they needed to provide the best quality support that they could to people in their care.

People using post-it notes during a workshop

Test and learn

In response to this, the Snook team undertook a significant research phase, building a picture of the organisation and identifying where innovation was needed. By spending time with a wide representation of front-line staff as well as shadowing several services, we started to unpick the complexity and established 12 key opportunities for redesign. Upon review, we took forward three projects for development:

1. Project involvement and feedback
2. Supported living
3. Repackaging services

We designed and launched an innovation lab with Carr Gomm, to initially tackle these three projects and bring them to fruition. Carr Gomm Futures (CGF) utilised design thinking methods and processes to train staff from across Scotland in a ‘test and learn’ process. Through CGF, live changes started happening in the organisation – powered by design.

Man in wheelchair laughing with a woman

Small (but important) details

During the ‘supported living’ project we learnt about the importance of preferences. For example, some people preferred a blue tray to a red tray, and if the member of staff remembered that it would make their day. However, this information was buried inside a large care folder and not easily retrievable. With high staff turnover, regular sick leave, and hurried handovers, these small but significant details of care were often forgotten. CGF took on this challenge and, in just 24 hours, prototyped a simple form that would sit at the beginning of each folder. With all the important details (even the small ones), a member of staff could quickly read the form at the beginning of their shift, the result being a more personalised, human experience for the person, and a better shift for the staff.

We also developed an innovation toolkit for Service Managers so they could develop ideas with their teams across Scotland. The toolkit helped the managers to take control and transform their services by using design thinking to make real change happen. CGF also came away with a future blueprint on how the organisation could improve their customer services and capacity to innovate through design and a series of new brand principles, which were prototyped by mocking up new marketing postcards by a member of the frontline team from Stirling.

New and exciting futures

Since working with Snook, CGF has become its own company, transforming care across the orgainisation through innovative thinking and human-centred design. On a quest to constantly iterate and improve, they have re-invested in training and resources, and are working with Snook again in 2019 to develop the initiative further, taking on new and complex care challenges.

The ‘one-page profile’ we developed together was commended by the Care Inspectorate as a ‘good innovation’.

Young man holding up a card payment device in a shop