NHS Experienced Based Co-Design

NHS | Service Improvement of Bristol Specialist Drugs and Alcohol Services (BSDAS)

Over a three year period, I identified, nurtured and educated a network of contacts within the UK’s NHS strategic healthcare regional management team, to the benefits of a people-centred approach to Service Design in the NHS.
Experienced-based Co-design (EBCD) is a methodology, developed by designers, working in close collaboration with the NHS institute. I became a vocal advocate for EBCD in credentials meetings with senior NHS managers.

Eventually, I was successful in finding a champion, who as head of innovation in mental health, became willing to support me and test the EBCD methodology by brokering a project sponsored by Bristol’s Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service (BSDAS), so that the benefits of using an experience based co-design methodology in secondary healthcare could be evaluated by her and her executive team.

Problem | Bristol’s Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) wanted to trial a Service Design approach, when reviewing and improving care pathways for their services.
Supporting the Trust’s innovation strategy, the NHS leadership team wanted to try EBCD to engage both front-line healthcare professionals and service users, as experts of the care system, to collaboratively design (co-design) service improvements.

Response | I designed and developed a strategic Service Design proposal, which outlined how the EBCD approach could be used to review care pathways and identify points in the service user journey, that could be improved by co-designing with patients and service providers.
With my ethnographic research associate Richard Linington we co-designed the first user research stage of the Service Design proposal – based on the EBCD framework. The proposal formed my contract and managed expectations of what the project deliverables were for my client.

Result | Project implementation has been delayed, due to cuts in healthcare expenditure within Bristol’s Specialist Drugs and Alcohol Service budget.