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HSJ Healthtech Partnership Award: highly commended
Mental health services have been oversubscribed for a long time and this was exacerbated by the pandemic. NHS Gloucestershire commissioned us to help them understand ways they could better meet the needs of people waiting for support.
There were initial ideas around ways a dashboard could be used to communicate, share waiting times and manage people’s expectations. However, this evolved into a new product to help more people get the right support at the right time. The product was developed by our partner MadeTech.
We led a series of research and co-creation activities with children, young people, NHS staff and partner organisations to uncover needs, pain-points, gaps and opportunities. Areas we explored included:
We went on to prototype and test user journeys, interfaces and content. Content tone and meaning was carefully considered and tested.
We built on previous research carried out locally by NHS Gloucestershire and by NHSX, so we knew a lot before we spoke to any young people. Some of the things our research team didn’t know before we started:
Following the discovery phase it became clear that there were ways digital could be used to do much more than manage expectations. Although there were many services outside the NHS with support available, people simply weren’t aware of them or how to access them.
So rather than a dashboard it became clear that a support finder would have much more impact. And it would also be much more likely to be used by people with low digital skills if it also worked via SMS not just via a website.
We worked alongside our technology partners as well as clinical and operational teams to prototype and test different ideas.
The subsequent product that we designed, On Your Mind Glos makes it easier to understand and access over 100 mental health support services and gives young people more choice and control in their care. For health practitioners it provides accurate advice and signposting to services.
This means more children and young people are getting the right support at the right time, feel in control of their mental health journey.
It’s been a resounding success. Following a programme of mental health awareness in schools it has now reached over 10,000 young people.
“We wanted to build on our existing feedback from children and young people in Gloucestershire to understand how we could better utilise digital technology to enable quick and easy access to mental health support. Young people repeatedly told us that they were unaware of the services available to them and we quickly realised we needed a single source of truth.
“Mace & Menter’s rigorous research and user centred design process helped us answer these questions and identified where to invest to have impact. The service they designed is simple and effective.
“Their approach to collaborating with the NHS and great team working has been a really valuable experience for us. They are flexible, open to questions and encourage feedback.”
- Beth Gibbons, Programme Manager NHS Gloucestershire
We uncover exactly what users need from your service at each step of their journey. Then we show you how to meet these needs, so you can deliver brilliant services.
Contact us to see if we’d be a good fit for your project:
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