User-Centred Healthcare Design (UCHD)

Patient consultation

Britain has changed a lot since the NHS was set up more than 60 years ago.
Our ageing population often suffers from multiple health problems rather than a single illness – meaning patients may now receive care from more than one NHS department as well as from friends, family, charities and other organisations. There are more people suffering from chronic health problems who are being asked to take greater responsibility for their own care between visits to health professionals. There are also more commercial products and services available to help people care for themselves. In lots of areas of life we are used to getting co-ordinated, customer-focused service and now expect this in our healthcare too. People want to be active, interested and informed participants in decisions about their healthcare and the services they receive.
All these changes have meant that the services that the NHS now offers are often fragmented, and don’t match or meet the needs and expectations of patients. UCHD exists to help the NHS respond to this change. It’s a way of developing and promoting healthcare technologies and services that can give patients the control and choice as well as service that they need. UCHD harnesses the creative skills and techniques used by professional designers to help build a health service where care can be offered, and where patients can act as co-producers of their own healthcare.

Map of patient emotions

UCHD brings together patients, healthcare staff, families and communities to explore and understand the real-life experience of care provision, and use that knowledge to drive innovation and improvement in healthcare service design and delivery.

Current practices in service development and delivery across South Yorkshire will be mapped and, through a process of action research and co-design, an understanding of users’ experiences of health-care will be used to drive innovative solutions in service design.

The theme will proceed by a series of co-design case studies focussing on chronic conditions, particularly those being studied in the CLAHRC. Through a process of participatory design and applying new technologies and new service design thinking, the team will develop and demonstrate a robust participatory approach to user-centred innovation for health services.

Find out more about this project and how it progresses via a dedicated website at

This webpage and project update pages presents independent research by the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY).
CLAHRC SY acknowledges funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
CLAHRC SY would also like to acknowledge the participation and resources of our partner organisations.  Further details can be found here.

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931