NHSE: Discovery exploring video use to improve health outcomes

Diagram showing the different capabilities of the system needed for Elective Care video

People have access to health information online via multiple platforms and formats, but quality and consistency can be variable.

Some is clinically relevant but in other instances information has been produced for a specific audience or originates from outside the UK where clinical advice can be different. 

With over 7m people waiting for treatment following the pandemic, NHS England’s Transformation Directorate asked us to investigate ways pre-recorded video could be used by the NHS to improve patient experience and health outcomes.


Our team of researchers and service designers ran a series of collaborative workshops with NHS teams (including NHS Digital, NHS England, clinical SMEs, Royal Colleges and patient representatives), which allowed us to consider the unique benefits video presents as an educational tool and how it could be used to help bridge the health literacy gap.

We put people at the heart of our approach. We went on to run research with patients, healthcare professionals and people responsible for video content.

Following research we brought stakeholders back together to help synthesise the insight.

A selection of the sacrificial concepts we used as visual prompts in our research

A selection of the sacrificial concepts we used as visual prompts in our research

What we learnt

Our first round of research shifted the focus of our project. Insights, from healthcare professionals in particular, revealed the importance of taking a systemic approach that considered how central NHS teams could support local trusts, independent charities, and other third-party organisations to create, orchestrate and deliver impactful video content. 

By taking this systemic view, we explored the experiences of: 

  • Creating (or gathering existing) video content by a community of content creators, avoiding the duplication of similar content 
  • Approving and maintaining a repository of ‘good’ video content that meets quality standards and guidelines
  • Hosting and structuring video in ways that people can find the content they need in the places they’re looking for it 
  • Sharing and recommending video content in order to reach those who need guidance but don’t proactively look for information themselves 
  • Monitoring and measuring to consider the impact videos are having and assess where changes or improvements may be needed 

In further research, we explored these capabilities by creating a concept prototype representing each part of the system.


Our work helped to define a vision for how video could be used to improve health literacy levels and enable new models of care. We delivered:

  • Evidence-based insights - including a set of user needs for patients, healthcare professionals, and content creators or curators for Elective Care video
  • A strategic model for Elective Care videos to inform a set of wider strategic considerations around how video is used by the NHS
  • A systemic view of Elective Care video that considers the different capabilities needed to enable it to show up meaningfully for patients
  • Prototypes exploring the different functions of this system 
  • A set of recommendations to take forward in future phases 

In the spirit of the project, we distilled our findings into a collection of bitesize video deliverables. Sharing the project outputs in this way helped to make it more interactive, engaging and memorable than standard written reports. 


"Working with the superb team at Mace & Menter has been an absolute joy. They delivered a superb alpha phase of our elective care educational project that has helped us devise strategies around the long-term future of educational video content in the NHS.

The team is flexible, reliable and diligent and we appreciated the openness of their approach."

- Digital Innovation Manager, NHS Transformation Directorate