The Design & Learning Centre

The What, How & Why the Centre Exists

Images of people smiling with a purple overlay

The Design and Learning Centre, have you heard about it? You may have over the last two years, but do you know what the Design and Learning Centre is? If the answer is no, don’t worry! Today in our very first blog we are going to tell you all about the Design and Learning Centre.

What is the Design and Learning Centre all about?

We launched the Design and Learning Centre for Clinical and Social Innovation in 2016 and set up our offices in Discovery Park in Sandwich. While our offices are based in Sandwich we embrace the use of technology so that we can operate virtually across Kent and Medway.

While the question “where is the Design and Learning Centre?” is easy to answer the next question “What is the Design and Learning Centre?” hasn’t always been clearly defined. In a nutshell, like many health and social care professionals, the centre wants “to make care better for people”! This statement is what drives and motivates all of our work here, which to many may seem obvious, however, it is about how we are doing this which we believe sets us apart.

How do we do this and why is our way of working different?

ESTHER Coaches in their purple ESTHER Coach t shirts holding their certificates.

The How: How is the Design and Learning Centre making care better?

To achieve our mission “To make care better for people” the centre works to a set of core values, one of these values is to bring people together and support them to think in a creative way. How does this make care better for people? We believe by bringing people together across health and social care in one place to look at the challenges we are all facing we can develop solutions jointly. We do this by arranging sessions which we call “Innovation Workshops” that focus on a specific topic and invite anyone with a view or interest, this includes professionals and those who use services. Innovation workshops have informed and allowed us to take forward projects such as “Medication Management in the Community”.

Alongside holding our Innovation Workshops, we are also supporting the Kent and Medway STP working in collaboration with the Academic Health Science Network and the Medway and Swale Centre of Organisational Excellence. While locally in Kent we are holding our Innovation Workshops and supporting the STP looking for solutions to the challenges we currently face we are also keen to learn from others. The centre has a number of international partnerships that have enabled us to learn how other countries have made care better for people, examples include ESTHER from Sweden and Buurtzorg from the Netherlands in the form of the Transforming Integrated Care in the Community (TICC) project.

We have said that we are making care better for people by working locally across Kent by bringing people together in our workshops and supporting the STP and further afield by learning from others internationally. The next thing to think about is why do we need the Design and Learning Centre?

The Why: Why do we need the Design and Learning Centre?

We believe we need the Design and Learning Centre as it provides the opportunities and space for people from all backgrounds, professions and organisations to come together in one place rather than working in our own individual silos. Through bringing all groups together we can work together to address the challenges we all face as our population ages, including financial and workforce, so together we can test and deliver solutions which will address these challenges while making care better for people.
Well, that’s it in a nutshell, the what, the how and why behind the Design and Learning Centre as we strive to make care better for people. Now you know what the Design and Learning Centre is all about share this with your colleagues and why not take a look at our newly developed website and find out more about our key projects!

Keep an eye out for our next blog on our Medication Management in the Community Project as we go into the what, the how and why!

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Anna Carlbom with our ESTHER timeline