Redesign of older people’s mental health services


This project seeks to provide a better understanding of how mental health services are currently developed and to investigate how design thinking and systems engineering techniques could be applied in future to service redesign, and what the benefits of such approaches might be.


This project has three work packages:

  • WP 1 is to understand current service design and development practice within the Older People’s division (OPMH) of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
  • WP2 is to work with OPMH to help them identify ways that they might improve the management, methods and tools they use to redesign their services and to help them implement changes to practice as appropriate.
  • WP3 is to help OPMH develop outcome and performance measures and use these to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of their service redesign activities.

The research uses a range of methods including semi-structured interviews, document reviews, participant observation, and action research.

A major case study for this research is a new Primary Mental Healthcare Service for older people in Cambridgeshire. NHS Cambridgeshire originally commissioned an 18 month pilot in St Ives of a multi agency older people’s primary care mental health service and this is now (2012) being rolled out by OPMH across the whole of Cambridgeshire.


Our main partners are Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Cambridgeshire

For more information contact: Warren Kerley, Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge,

Useful Links

Download the technical report of the Redesign of older people’s mental health services.