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Impact across the system at Uscreates in 2017

Six axes through which we can achieve more impact across the system

Each year at Uscreates, the projects we deliver make an impact across the health and wellbeing system. There is, of course, no one definition of the health system – let alone the health and wellbeing system. All systems have boundaries, but how you map them and the boundaries that you choose will depend on where you stand within it, how far your perspective stretches, and the different types of people that you want to include. With limited resources, the health and wellbeing world is increasingly having to look beyond its borders and reimagine how it acts and who it acts with. We’ve set out six different axes in our system, how we have stretched these to involve more people, and how we’ve achieved impact across them.

01 From effect to root causes across the system

We have been creating better acute care services at the same time as understanding and tackling the root causes of people’s wellbeing. We’ve designed cutting-edge blockchain enabled drones to improve blood donation experiences and supported acute mental health nurses to feel 80% more confident about making improvements in their working environment. Our Personal Housing and Wellbeing Plans are being used by three local councils identifying issues and delivering homelessness preventions, and our social marketing programme has increased referrals to stop smoking services by 15%.

02 Unusual suspects across the system

We have been bringing in people outside the health and wellbeing sector to deliver health and wellbeing outcomes. We’ve supported social entrepreneurs Make Kit to develop an affordable healthy eating recipe kit that has been proven to change health behaviours by 83% and which won a Health Transformation Award and is now operating nationally, and our research into changing the behaviour of financial investors in impact investing has informed the government’s social impact.

03 Digital reach across the system

Using digital allows us to engage a wider range of people in our interventions. The digital weight management tool we designed is being used by 800 nurses to manage a healthy weight, and our #Doncastertalks platform was used by over 200 Doncaster residents to provide insight and start behaviour change conversations about early health prevention.

04 Different types of design across the system

Using a range of practical to strategic design practice across the system to tackle issues in the right way. We have used UX design to create a decision-making tool for health care commissioners, which launched at the House of Lords; service design to create a new non-smoking service that has led to a 15% increase in stop smoking referrals; organisational design to engage 800 staff in conversations about prevention over 100 days; and strategy design to inform Healthy London Partnerships’ VCSE Guide for Commissioners.

05 Raising awareness of design across the system

We have been spreading awareness of the value of design for health and wellbeing to our clients, their partners, and design practitioners of tomorrow, as well as to the general public. This has been achieved via 18 talks, 25 journal articles, blogs and publications; two of our directors teaching design at universities; and through co-presenting BBC Radio 4 the Fix, which has made service design available to seven million Radio 4 listeners.

06 Building capability of design across the system

Collaborative capability building is at the heart of what we do. We have upskilled our clients through all of our 84 projects in 2017 and also delivered specific capability building work, such as: coaching the 2,000 strong Q network of healthcare innovators; supporting 15 charities to get people over 50 into volunteering through Nesta’s Second Half Fund; and introducing design tools to over 150+ people through seven Inside Design workshops and bespoke training sessions.

To see how the six axes of impact were achieved download the full report below.

Uscreates Offices

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Impact across the system at Uscreates in 2017


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SE11 5JH

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