Monday, 13 July 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
to warrant a more complete posting, to cover the main points:
1. Why does social care appear to be the poor cousin to health care? I
attended a great talk by David Behan, Director General of Social Care
where he frightened everyone with demographics (the rate at which we
can keep people alive longer is outpacing the rate we can keep them
healthy longer), expectation (baby boomers aren't going into care
homes quietly) and technology (where he basically said WTF!). All in
all it was a brilliant call to arms, to defuse a service timebomb, but
his frustration was palpable. Very few had read his centrepiece
document, so he was struggling to have the debate. I'm hoping to speak
to him again soon.
2. Design: it's a chick thing. I couldn't put my finger on what was
different about this conference until it clicked. About 60% of
delegates were women. This made for a different feel to the whole
event. And a few discussions with the other service designers out
there confirmed my suspicion that it's female NHS staff that are spear
heading the growth of service design in the UK. They get it faster and
more intuitively. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't shy away from
converting captains of industry, but useful to know the softer markets.
3. Service design. No really! I sat watching Lord Darzi get laughs
from an audience of 1,000 people as he mapped a typical journey
through the healthcare system. All the to'ing and fro'ing was
ridiculous. All the mistakes tragic and wasteful. But what a great
message to deliver so close to his pubchlubr - "the NHS must innovate
or die." service design was truly centre stage.
And Chief Exec David Nicholson added more the next day, admitting that
the staff had it right all along - it's the patient stupid! Not the
targets. If we chase targets we'll end up in a perversion of
healthcare, aimed less at wellness, and more at box ticking. And as
everyone had got by that stage, that way lies NHS bankruptcy.
4. Tele health. With a father and father in law both ill with long
term conditions, this really interested me. Within about 10 years I'll
be able to monitor the activity and health of ageing relatives on my
laptop and phone, via a host of widgets tracking all sorts of things.
A bit big brother maybe, but a compromise for continued independence.
I'm also really interested in the opportunities this opens for service
designers, taking away some of the environmental restrictions of
hospitals. Add in the ambulances of the future (minor surgery on your
doorstep) and you begin to wonder...
Friday, 19 June 2009
Anyway - fully energised. Will digest the material and post more later.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
I was at a National Trust house a couple of weeks ago, and found this great little bit of early 1900s service design in the kitchen. I say "the kitchen" as if it was just a kitchen, but it was a collection of 4 rooms, used on a daily basis by 15 members of staff. Clearly the challenge with so many people making use of all the kitchen supplies, it was very difficult for the supplies manager to keep tabs on what's in or out of stock. This Household Wants Indicator is a very nifty solution. If you notice something is running low, you find the product in the list and flip the indicator from white to red. Simple, effective and far neater than a scruffy blackboard.
I used it as stimulus when I got my colleagues to redesign the office kitchen, which holds a limited range of supplies. Could you image how big it would need to be for a domestic kitchen, with the massive range of products available these days?
Anyway - a cool bit of service design...
Friday, 15 May 2009
I also mean to watch this, hopefully once I've actually watched Us Now!
And I need to write up the results of the little service design challenge I gave my colleagues yesterday - to re-design the office kitchen. Lots of designers with lots of great ideas. From the conversations in the pub last night, it worked.