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Service Design (MA)

Xinying He

The benefits of reusing walking aids are saving money and Reducing carbon emissions
The benefits of reusing walking aids

At the beginning of this project one of our teammates sprained her foot and got the free crutch from the NHS, then we didn't know how to dispose the used crutches, so we started focusing on this topic.We gained the information that If two fifths of walking aids were returned, the average hospital could save up to £46,000 per year. At  the same time, if the return rate increased over the next three years, hospitals could reduce NHS carbon emissions by 7,400 tonnes, equivalent to 281,397 car journeys from London to Bristol.

Actually, Many patients also don't want to throw away their crutches because the condition is so great which means it can be reused by others,but more importantly, by our research, we knew people truely face difficulties during the return process.

Analysis of a survey which was sent on social media and got 70 valid responses from people who had got crutches from the NHS
Questionnaire Analysis

In order to understand the current recycling and reuse process we did some desk research about the return situation and reuse policy, the condition of hospitals which already did this job, and charities who attract donations for their daily work etc.

To achieve a more clear cognition to find out the pain points, we start to send surveys and interview our target users(who borrow the free crutches from the NHS, especially Temporary use crutches ( this type of users have sufficient upper body strength and coordination to support and move their own body weight. usually 14-60 years old)and hospital staff.

We also went to some hospitals which can receive the used crutches and reuse them to figure out what things we can do and learn about their touchpoints.

Three key insights are: no reminder, no guidance, no incentive
Key Insights

Problem Statement

(1)Patients face difficulties in obtaining information and guidance regarding the return of their crutches once they no longer need them.

(2)Some people lack the incentives to return because they don't want to spend the money and time after they used the crutches.

(3)Hospitals don’t have effective signs/systems to remind people to return to their crutches.

How might we reduce the barriers to return crutches by providing clear signs and guides, and increase incentives in the process
Mission Statement
Develop with visible and attractive return areas, and double layers label or tags

ReCrutch is a crutch reusing campaign, which aims to encourage more people to return their crutches easily and happily. 

Our guidance and reward service system about returning crutches, helps people who borrow the crutches from the NHS have better experience in returning, by establishing some more visible and attractive return points in the hospital, giving guidance with the crutches and giving them return rewards.

(1)Some visible and attractive return areas inside the hospital, where not only patients but everyone passing by can notice and realise that the crutches can be reused.

(2)A guidance for returning on double layers stickers on the crutches to remind.

If you have an unused crutch, what would encourage you to go to the hospital to return it (even if it costs you money and time)?

🤩I am a designer who strives to integrate environmental friendliness and relational connectivity into service design. My mission is to help world hear the small cries that lie beneath the mainstream voices through warm and powerful design.

📚Currently, I'm studying at Royal College of Art in Service Design. Meanwhile, I'm in my second year of Master of Professional Studies in Design at Shanghai University of Engineering Science. My background is Industrial Design graduated at Qingdao University in China.

🌱My love for exploring the relationship between nature and people makes me keep looking at the incredible insights that can be gained when both environment and human are listened to.

A smiling Chinese girl facing forward. Behind her are lights from street and buildings glow faintly in the dusking sky.

When I was doing research for the IRP, I found that just placing a few 'big blue bin' could save a hospital tens of thousands of pounds a year.

What if we could have a simple and straightforward idea that brings a big impact with less technology, less time, and less complexity?

This has become one of the questions I want to answer in IRP, to make simple things create a huge difference, to make small nudges have a big impact.