Co-Creating Health Services

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Report: Cottam, H., Leadbeater, C., 2004a. Health. Co-creating Services. Design Council – RED unit, London, UK.

URL = 01 Health_Co-creating_services.pdf

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"Open Health shifts the focus from delivering treatment to engaging people in their own healthcare, supporting self-management and enabling healthy lifestyles. This means that the biggest untapped resource in the NHS is people themselves: how can we harness the power and expertise of patients and their families to co-create better health outcomes?

Systems like ebay, wikipedia, the Grameen Bank and youtube rely on ordinary people generating the content themselves. Their participation shapes the nature of the service: it is co-created. We set out to see whether we could apply the principles behind these 'open' systems - distributed tools, collaboration between people and professionals - to healthcare systems in order to engage people in their own healthcare. We call this approach co-creation, and seeds of it can already be seen in the health sector. Read more about communities of co-creation, and how they could create health services that are strengthened by participation rather than burdened by demand, in RED Paper 01 Health: Co-creating services." (

More Information

  1. The RED Open Health report