mHabitat’s Alicia reflects on the ‘Our GP’ workshop experience

Written by: Alicia Ridout, Deputy Programme Director, mHabitat

The mHabitat team have been travelling around Scotland meeting citizens and staff to co-design ideas for future digital GP services.

We have been in towns, cities and rural areas where we have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response from everyone attending our creative workshops.

Oswald, tea and post-it notes!

We have visited a range of venues too, including the Smith Museum and Art Gallery in Stirling where we had a surprise visitor in the shape of Oswald the cat – he has a big following on Twitter!

We employed a range of creative tools to generate ideas and better understand the needs and experiences of people using their GP services. Our quest was to find out how their experience might be improved in the future with the help of digital tools.

We were accompanied for some of the workshops by our graphic artist who visually represented issues and ideas as they arose. One example is shown below. Lots of post it notes were created to help us generate principles, frustrations, hopes and ideas which the team have since collated and themed. We used a simple tool called ‘user stories’ to enable people express changes they want to achieve. Here is an example:

‘As… A patient with bronchiectasis. I want… information more freely available on exercise / activities in my area. So that… I can reduce my dependence on medication’

We have been busy reviewing all the information we captured and generated a list of over 90 ideas from the six workshops, each with a user story.

We had a range of GP practice staff join us too, who mapped a typical journey through their service and explored the impact digital systems and tools could have on a person’s journey. Insights were shared regularly throughout so that citizens and practice staff could learn from each other.

So what have been the key messages so far?

Although digital technologies are very much a part of many people’s lives, they are still not often used by people to manage or improve their health. Very few people told us they use tracker devices such as the ones people wear on their wrists to monitor their steps.

There is enthusiasm from GP practice staff to use digital health tools and services and enable people to have a range of choices in how they interact with practice teams and receive support at home.

So what next?

The mHabitat team are working with The ALLIANCE and Scottish Government to identify key ideas to develop further. We will be visiting ten venues around Scotland from 28 November for two weeks as part of a roadshow series where we will be meeting the public to continue the design process.

We would love to see you there! Come and join us and have your say. Helen and Steve from mHabitat will be there to take you through an engaging and creative experience.