A key aspect of our co-production work has been to use design thinking to help find the solutions to our challenges. Design thinking is at the heart of most service sector innovation we are familiar with (from mobile phones and retail to banking) but is still in its infancy in health and social care. At the heart of design thinking is the principle that services (and products) should reflect the experience and insight of people who use them. Design processes follow a structured process along the lines of:
1. Empathise: Talking to your customers directly
2. Define: Defining a problem statement from your conversations with the customer
3. Ideate: Brainstorming, creation of a lot of ideas that might solve the problem
4. Prototype: build models to test these ideas
5. Test: try your prototypes with the users
During 2012 we undertook a major design prototype which led to the creation of the Living Well Network and we are committed to using design thinking to develop and improve services and support going forward.