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User-Centred Healthcare Design

User-Centred Healthcare Design

Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre

2008 - present

Driving innovation and improvement in healthcare service delivery

User-centred healthcare design (UCHD) brings together patients, healthcare staff, families and communities to explore and understand the real-life experiences of healthcare. We use that knowledge to drive innovation and improvement in healthcare service delivery.

UCHD is a type of co-design, because we work alongside service users and providers to understand their experiences and stories and, together, find ways to improve things. UCHD is also the name of the team of researchers, designers and healthcare professionals who use this technique. We work within the NHS, and with NHS partners to find more innovative design methods which the NHS can use as part of its ongoing practice. We’re interested in how thinking about, and doing, design can help in three areas

  • improving existing services
  • designing service innovations
  • designing strategic change

Why our work is important

Britain has changed a lot since the NHS was set up more than 60 years ago.

  • our ageing population often suffers from multiple health problems rather than a single illness – meaning patients now often receive care from more than one NHS department as well as from friends, family, charities and other organisations
  • more people are suffering from chronic health problems, and are asked to take more responsibility for their own care between visits to health professionals
  • there are more commercial products and services to help people care for themselves
  • people are used to getting co-ordinated customer-focused service in lots of areas of life, and they expect it in their healthcare too
  • more people want to be active, interested and informed participants in decisions about their healthcare and the services they receive

These changes have meant that the services that the NHS now offers are often fragmented, and don’t match or meet the needs and expectations of patients.

UCHD exists to help the NHS respond to this change. It’s a way of developing and promoting healthcare technologies and services that can give patients the control and choice as well as service that they need. UCHD harnesses the creative skills and techniques used by professional designers to help build a health service where care can be offered, and where patients can act as co-producers of their own healthcare.

Please visit the UCHD website to learn more.

Researchers involved

Remi Bec - Research Degree Student

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