Bringing end of life care to the high street
Title: Trinity's House
Type of work: Service design
Date: October 2015 – December 2015
Extent of the project: 7 weeks, full-time
Royal Trinity Hospice is looking to open a new outpatient centre with a high street presense within the Northern boroughs of their catchment area. We worked with them to envision what this new centre might be; which new and existing services could be on offer, and how these could come together in a physical space. Trinity’s House is our vision for this new centre. We believe that by being a space that is welcoming and open to all — including the public — RTH will have a better chance of engaging with people earlier on, grow the awareness as to what they do, and begin normalising conversations around end of life.
I worked closely with Kay Dale, Yukari Iwamoto and Evadine Okoye on the project.
We looked at, firstly, which services would be available, and secondly, how the centre could unfold physically. How you will move through Trinity’s House is key as not all services are available to everyone. We proposed to structure the centre around three layers of interactions: Public (including café and exhibition space), semi-public (featuring amongst other things a garden and space for drop-in sessions) and private (including quiet rooms and multi-purpose space for most outpatient services). These layers are reflected in the physical building, and offers a way to think about the types of services on offer. By starting to engage with the local community, you’re building relationships with people who might later on in life become volunteers, carers, elderly or perhaps face a life limiting illness.
Our research consisted of, amongst other things, attending events on death and dying, such as Death Cafés, taking part in or observing some of Trinity’s current services, and conducting in-depth interviews with ‘death experts’ and people who’ve experienced death and dying up close. On top of that, we held a dialogue exhibition, using 'design provocations' to trigger conversations, as a way to engage with the general public. As a result of all this research, we began to notice a pattern; the idea that every person is at different ‘life stages’ for death and dying. We used this framework to map where Royal Trinity Hospice currently operates, and where the opportunities for expanding their services lie. Later on in the project, we created a collection of ‘service cards’ that we presented to staff at Royal Trinity Hospice in order to elicit feedback.