Reimagining Adult Social Care Design Sprint

A one-day, co-design workshop run by CSM’s Lucy Kimbell with Merton Council, Social Kemistri, Kareinn and Uscreates (amongst others) to generate visions for looking after older people. This was a productive design sprint that began with Dr Alison Prendiville introducing the PCL with the Home Library Service (HLS) Project, describing the service design and ethnography methodology implemented by the MDes Service Design Innovation students in collaboration with the home library users and providers of the HLS from the London Borough of Camden.

Designer Lisa Pape presented her Walk with Path walking aids for specific medical conditions with mobility issues. Path Feel is an insole to improve balance and provide digital data to the user and their doctor, currently being tested at Queen Mary’s University.

Tom Penney has been working with the London Borough of Merton on a 18-month research project, making a detailed analysis of adult social care in the UK and gave us the stark, and fairly pessimistic, facts and figures to describe this.

Tom set the challenge for the afternoon: how can we design a platform and services around it to match people with caring needs and people with accommodation who are willing to do the caring?

Working in teams, we developed two personas – one person with caring needs and one with accommodation needs – and then used service design methods to ‘match’ up the two by crafting their journey at the beginning of the project, looking at what is necessary from both points of view and identifying the ‘hotspots’.

Feeding back to everyone at the end of the day, the groups identified common key points including ensuring equal exchange of common interests, common rules such as respecting personal space, providing support and community groups for both parties and the need to build on existing services.

Rather than completely ‘reimagining’ adult social care, the focus for the day was very much about looking at it from a human-centred point of view, concentrating on the people involved, empathy and the value beyond monetary concerns.

Sarah Rhodes