Social Media and Service Redesign

Guardian Healthcare reports on a recent conference in Leeds that produced some innovative ideas about how to integrate digital and social media into service redesign. ‘Coproduction’ became the focus of discussion – that is, how to engage the users of a service in the design of that service.

As a group, we realised that we can’t solve system level issues in our own organisations without reference to the far greater pool of ideas and talents available to us. We have to get out of the silo thinking so prevalent in the public sector, and involve the communities we serve in deciding how to meet their needs in the years ahead. Building a network of interested and talented individuals from all parts of the health system has to be considered a vital part of our role if we are serious about integrating health and social care.

The people with expertise about how services are delivered on the ground are patients, service users and carers. It is rare that more than a handful of them are engaged through traditional engagement methods, and it is even rarer to find that these methods lead to real change within the service. Indeed, most engagement events are arranged to communicate decisions already taken, not to seek alternative solutions to a problem.

Staff working in health and social care are widely lauded as the greatest asset the system has, but when are they supported to redirect resources within their organisations, or to address gaps in service provision that they identify?

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