Lewisham’s emergency housing service is very busy and the people using the service can’t always find out whether or not they are entitled to support quickly and easily enough.
The Design Council’s Public Services by Design support programme partnered frontline staff from the Housing Options Centre and service managers from the London Borough of Lewisham’s policy, strategy and transformation department with a Design Associate, who has shown them how to use a design approach to improve the experiences of people using emergency housing services and to deliver a more efficient service.
‘Design is not something that you need to be scared about as an approach,’ says Justine Roberts, London Borough of Lewisham Service Transformation Officer, who took worked closely with Design Associate Sean Miller on the Housing Options Centre service design project. ‘It doesn’t need to be about radical innovation or taking everything out and starting all over again. It can be that, but in some cases, and indeed in a lot of the cases we found, it’s about quite small changes that would have a big impact. And everyone wants to find that really. Things that don’t cost a lot that will really improve the experience of people with relatively little effort.’