Creating social solutions for MS patients

Service design for MS patients
The people from Live|Work, a UK service design company, have inspired me from the time I met them at the meanwhile defunct Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, now nearly eight years ago.

Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic of the International Herald Tribune, was inspired too and devoted an article to them and the nascent discipline of service design, and its role for public services in particular:

What sort of help would you need if you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? Medical advice, of course, but you’d also have concerns that a doctor or nurse might not be able to address. Will you have to stop work? Use a wheelchair? Choose a caregiver? And how can you contact other people with MS?

All important questions, but how should a local health service deal with them? This was the dilemma faced two years ago by the Ealing Primary Care Trust, which runs the government-funded National Health Service for the 315,000 residents of Ealing in west London. The local MS clinic had closed, and the trust was under fire from the Multiple Sclerosis Society, which campaigns on behalf of people with MS. The trust needed to find a solution, but wasn’t sure how to choose the right one.

It secured funding from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to commission the service design consultancy Live|Work to advise it on how best to care for the 400 or so local people with MS. The result shows how the young, increasingly fashionable discipline of service design can work in practice by tackling a serious social problem.

It’s a nice article and I am pleased for Lavrans, Ben and Chris of Live|Work with this beautiful exposure.

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