Designing mental health delivery systems: Where do we start?

DS 87-3 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 3: Product, Services and Systems Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Komashie, Alexander; Ray, Sarah; Kar Ray, Manaan; Clarkson, P. John
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR CLAHRC for the East of England, United Kingdom; 3: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 399-408
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Healthcare services that consistently meet the needs of service users have to be designed. The growing demand for better quality of care, together with an increasing awareness of limited resources, are bringing attention to the need for design in healthcare. In mental health, considered the largest cause of disability in the UK, the need is great. Existing services often fail to meet demands and do not consistently deliver good quality care for all service users. The design of better delivery systems has the potential to improve service user experience and care outcome. But, where do we start? This paper reports the first stage of an ongoing research to co-design a language for designing mental health services. This stage of the research identified, through focus groups and interviews with service users and clinicians, the key components of a mental health service. This paper argues that an appropriate concept of a mental health delivery service as a system, the identification of its key components and an understanding of the association between these components form an essential first step in designing such a system.

Keywords: Service design, Systems Engineering (SE), Design process, Mental health


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