Motivation and Momentum

Motivating people’s participation in health service co-design can be difficult, and maintaining that participation is key. There are numerous personal and professional factors at play.


It is challenging to persuade key stakeholders (including service-users) to ‘buy-in’ to a service design project. How can we enable participant to believe in a project when typical expectations lead them to question if anything will really change? Front-line staff, in particular, are often suspicious and pessimistic about ‘improvements’ (they have ‘seen it all before’).

Healthcare services have often been designed from clinicians’ point of view and they can be so involved in their own specialism that they can be disconnected from a ‘normal’ person’s reality. Patients, on the other hand, can be lost, confused and scared within the healthcare system. Clinicians might use complex, professional, language (health ‘science’) whereas patients’ discussions relate to their emotions and fears. How can discussions of services be sensitive to both?

A single (hospital) ward is an individual system on its own, so changes in one ward don’t necessarily have impact on the others, leading to lack of interest elsewhere.


Work with citizens not patients.