Start here

First, it’s worth understanding what we suggest design offers to health and social care improvement. So, have a look at the Introducing Design section. If this sounds interesting, read on…

Creative Process

The creative process we suggest is based on the Double Diamond approach. This will help you think about how you generate and refine service improvements, and direct you to possible methods to use. So, next, have a look at this section describing the approach and then return to it as your project progresses.

Project Management Process

You will also have a parallel project management process, and we suggest some best practice steps in the process below. We suggest that you check off these items, as you go through your project. Follow the links for further information on certain steps.The Project Management and Creative Process

  1. Have a project idea: from your experience, something that needs improvement (e.g. some or all of an existing service, a situation or group of people where a new service could help).
  2. Write a project outline. This is an initial general description of your project and may change as new information comes to light. We suggest thinking about three aspects:
    • What are the overall issues that you’d like to focus on?
    • Who is affected by or has an interest this (e.g. service-users, staff, management, other services/ departments/ organisations that integrate with your service or department)?
    • How will you resource the project (e.g. how much time, funding do you have)?
  3. Check whether it’s been done before. Has similar work has been done before because you may be able to learn from and extend it?
  4. Open-up and reflect on what your project is aboutThe Double Diamond comes in here: armed with your project outline, look for some activities in the Discover phase that could help you take a fresh look at the issues as you currently see them.
  5. Get your project approved. There are different processes for this according to whether you are working inside or outside the NHS. This page has more information on such governance processes.
  6. Recruit relevant people to work with you during the project. Some of the activities in the Discover stage can help you work out who these people are. Also, you may need to recruit more people as you go through the project.
  7. Ensure that you have the informed consent of project participants before they start working with you. This page has more information on this.
  8. Get designing! Continue working through the Double Diamond process with your participants, looking for appropriate methods to use at each stage.. Then, at the end your project:
  9. Communicate what you have achieved with all your participants and others who need to know. What you have designed might be useful in other services, or there might be more you think that you’d like to achieve. So, for example, submit articles to professional newsletters/websites, write a report for your wider organization.