Gamifying co-creation for NHS Surrey Heartlands projects
Gamifying co-creation for NHS Surrey Heartlands projects
Health and social care for over one million

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 a healthcare integration project to deliver a high-quality engagement plan that creates buy-in across the system, stakeholders and citizens.

Engaging gamified project toolkit

A unique design game was co-created by defining the purpose and game activities in several workshops with participation from over 30 stakeholders, including citizen representatives. Over 6 months, Co-Lab was designed, tested and framed as a gamified project planning toolkit for delivering high-quality research based on a grass-root engagement model.

Co-Lab is run over three sessions that have specific objectives that support a team of seven participants in onboarding, planning, implementation of co-creation and follow-up. During the actual game session, the facilitator supports players through the activities on the game board. Co-Lab is unquestionably more diverse and inclusive, with staff and patients gaining a voice and a clear role in the process.

Increased budgets, impact and participation
  • Due to highly successful test sessions for service development in a Women and Children Healthcare project in June 2019, stakeholders adopted Co-Lab across the organisation and in less than a year, the client applied Co-Lab to a range of diverse and complex healthcare projects that will impact thousands of regional service users, and there are plans to scale and digitise the game nationwide.

  • The game has already generated significant impact in many projects: Evidence shows that where Co-lab is applied, projects are more likely to see better budgets, impact and more equitable participation. The budget allocated to co-creation after the first Co-Lab session in a project gained a 1500% increase.

"The game was so well-received that we had to present it to other NHS Trusts and start using it in other regions. There was a point [before Covid] we couldn't keep up with demand to play the game"

- Head of Research
Surrey Heartlands Health & Care Partnerships (NHS)
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