About the project

My role: user research, service design, game design

Client: NHS, Surrey Heartlands ICS
In partnership with Hellon

Sector: Public Sector, Health and Care

Dates: 2020-21

Surrey Heartlands is a regional integrated health and social care partnership in the UK which serves over 1 million people. The organisation partnered with Hellon to create a participation game that can be used specifically in relation to healthcare integration projects to deliver a high-quality engagement plan that creates buy-in across the system, stakeholders and citizens. I led research and game design during this project, engaging with stakeholders at Surrey Heartlands and cross key partners.

Co-lab Participatory Design Game for Healthcare


Participation is not well understood or valued by stakeholders. The client, a regional integrated health and social care partnership which serves over 1 million people, aims to co-design health and social care service improvements through citizen-led engagement. However, in 2019 significant issues with the quality, equity and effectiveness of research and co-creation were identified.


To tackle issues with a best practice participatory and service design approach, Surrey Heartlands partnered with the UCL’s Centre for Co-production and Healthcare, the NHS and Hellon. As lead service designer on the project, I played a key role in coaching the Surrey Heartland’s Research and Insight team on participatory game design for planning and delivering engagement which ensures all participants have a voice and clear role in the process.

- Due to highly successful first test sessions in a Women and Children Healthcare project, Co-lab has since been applied in several projects with significant impact. The client has even designed a new adaptation in order to utilise Co-lab beyond its original purpose

- Organisations were exposed to more fun and democratic methods of collaboration.

- Participation resulted in a deeper understanding of research and co-creation processes, methods and associated costs.

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