Experts from the Glasgow School of Art have joined the project to help ensure Moray’s health services are fit for the future.
Management in the region have already warned that sustaining the existing “traditional” model of support will prove difficult in the long-term, as the region battles an array of problems including an ageing population.
An innovative project has already been run in Forres at Varis Court, where the NHS has leased flats to act as an alternative to a hospital or care home admission.
Meanwhile, as part of the project to replace the Keith Health Centre, investigations are being carried out to examine how the new facility could be used to run services in alternative ways.
Now experts from Glasgow School of Art’s Highland campus, near Forres, have joined Health and Social Care Moray to come up with more ways to help them think outside of the box.
Tara French, the art school’s programme director of health and wellbeing innovation, likened her role to enabling a “culture shift” within the organisation.
She said: “There are different projects across Moray and one of the things we are doing is engaging with the public about what their experiences are of those different health and social care services.
“What we’re trying to do is learn about their experiences and then translate that into something that health and social care teams can understand.”
Academics from the campus have also been working with health teams to create new formats of discussion to encourage different views to be aired.
Pam Gowans, chief officer of Health and Social Care Moray, explained the project had helped staff to consider ideas that had not been conceived before.
She said: “Last year I realised we were being asked to think quite differently about what we provide and how we do things – but I wasn’t sure we had all the right creative skills needed.
“Using myself as an example, from my three decades of experience in the health service I’m aware that I have had my blinkers set by that tradition, which will be the same for everyone else.
“It’s time we do something a bit different and the Glasgow School of Art is really challenging us.”