Led by Professor Sonja Pedell, this project saw the Swinburne Living Lab partner with ACCESS Health and Community to co-design a social prescription service for trail within their organisation. 

ACCESS Health and Community offers a range of clinical, allied and community health services and is uniquely positioned to leverage its service capabilities to deliver a social prescription model. 

Social prescriptions provide non-medical support to patients to boost their overall wellbeing and alleviate symptoms such as stress or loneliness. Prescriptions may include exercise, hobbies such as art or even pet adoption.

Brainstorming for the blueprint of key service offerings and the concerns they aim to address.

Using co-design to create social prescribing

The team worked with ACCESS Health and Community to co-design their social prescription service. The purpose of our research was to communicate the feasibility, current barriers and opportunities and the design output of a social prescription offering ready for trial. 

Using the co-design methodology, we held one round of staff interviews, two co-design workshops with health practitioners, and one client workshop.  

All workshops were designed to cascade into the next, ensuring the co-design process was open and flexible and did not bias its outcomes.  

There were, however, key themes which framed the project and its subsequent workshops; they included a focus on stakeholders, barriers, enablers, resources and pathways.  

Our findings show that through navigating the existing network with the support of a new service role named a “Community Connector” (also known as Link Worker), such a service can be achieved. 

Research into a social prescribing service concept, conducted through a co-design workshop.

Project team and partners

The co-design workshop with clients on social prescribing taking place.

Project publications

Keirnan, A; Pedell, S. 2020. Building teams and identifying co-design stakeholders in healthcare projects: A social prescription case study, Co-Creating and Orchestrating Multistakeholder Innovation (Series: Laurea Julkaisut vol. 143) / Hirvikoski T., Erkkilä L., Fred M., Helariutta A., Kurkela I., Pöyry-Lassila P., Saastamoinen K., Salmi A., Äyväri A. (Eds.), Chapter 5, pp. 57-69p

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