Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is forging a path to change frailty identification and management. Through innovative partnerships with the British Red Cross and VOCAL, new ways of supporting people living with frailty and carers have been developed, which support people to navigate the system and access support to live well. Alongside this, Midlothian HSCP have developed new ways for health, care and third sector professionals to collaborate and work in multidisciplinary ways to identify people at risk and prevent crisis.

In order to push forward on this path of innovation, Midlothian HSCP are funded by the Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care Pathfinder Programme to deliver the current project, which seeks to explore how digital technology and design can act as transformation enablers. They have partnered with the DHI to provide leadership and expertise in service design, and to help them to use design-led approaches to engage with citizens and stakeholders in order to involve them in innovating the frailty system of care.

Film credit: Louise Mather

Innovating the Frailty System of Care

Impact and Value

  • To improve the experience of living with frailty for the person, their family and carers, and staff;

  • To develop safe and highly reliable systems and pathways of care processes;

  • To breakdown the structural barriers between the organisations within the Midlothian Partnership;

  • And, achieve this in a way that starts with scale in mind.

Our Approach

The TEC Pathfinder Programme subscribes to the Scottish Approach to Service Design, which aims to ensure that the people of Scotland are empowered to actively participate in the definition, design and delivery of their public services, from policy making to live service improvement.

In this project, the DHI Design Team enables active participation, using specialist expertise in participatory design approaches, to creatively engage stakeholders to reimagine the frailty system of care.

Our partnership with the DHI will provide leadership and expertise in service design and citizen engagement. Crucially, we need to understand what the public thinks about frailty in terms of the language to use to engage rather than repel, the barriers to existing provision, and the gaps that may act as opportunities to reframe community engagement within the Partnership in the context of frailty.

Matthew Curl

Midlothian HSCP Digital Programme Lead


Read our findings from Year 1 here.

Next Steps

We are currently at the mid-point of the ‘double diamond’ design process advocated by the Scottish Approach to Service Design. The Develop and Deliver phases of the project will be achieved through two interlinked streams of work:

Engagement in the design process with:

  1. Citizens: specifically, people living with frailty, informal carers, family and friends, and their wider community, and;

  2. Professionals: people working in the system of care who deliver services for people living with frailty.

Technical and service development:

  1. Mapping the challenges identified during Define to existing capabilities and ongoing developments in the Demonstration and Simulation Environment (DSE), and to any existing solutions on the market as appropriate;

  2. Development of new solutions to the defined challenges through iterative co-design, prototyping  and testing with intended users through the engagement work strand.

We look forward to working to deliver the vision for this important project as we enter year 2.