Health design thinking aims to generate creative and meaningful solutions to complex healthcare problems that enhance human well-being. Co-design is a collaborative approach that involves engaging diverse stakeholders in a creative design and decision making process to generate many ideas, not necessarily a single ‘correct’ one. This approach can be particularly useful in health systems research as it incorporates different perspectives and encourages ‘bottom-up’ change ideas development.

Co-design is integral to the iPASTAR research group as it provides a way quickly and meaningfully hearing and elevating the voice of patients and of health care providers.

As part of Geraldine’s third PhD study she gathered a group of healthcare professionals, patients and staff from the charitable sector on 13 June, and again on 20 June, to use health design thinking to co-create improvements for patients at the transition from hospital to home.

Participants reported feeling really valued by being asked to contribute. Services changed their work practices to attend. Such was the success of week 1 that additional stroke survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals and local support groups asked if they could join the workshops wishing to contribute and to be heard. It shows that people want to be part of conversations around change that is going to impact them, they want to be part of creating new practices, and be the driving forces behind any subsequent implementation.

Geraldine will use the findings from her workshops as the framework on which she will structure her proposed intervention to improve the transition from hospital to home.