Background: There is strategic objective to incorporate the principles and practice of co-design into routine service development and improvement. Aim: The aim was to explore the concept and feasibility of service co-design with patients and health professionals with regards to the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancer care pathway. Methods and Results: Qualitative telephone interviews and face-to-face focus groups in one region of England. Twenty patients completed interviews. Nine patients and ten professionals formed two focus groups. Patients were referred through the urgent (two week) GP referral route and were within six months of receiving their first treatment for an UGI cancer. Professionals were working as service planners and providers of the UGI cancer care pathway. Thematic analysis was undertaken. Six themes emerged: Responsibilities and expectations, Knowledge and understanding, Valuing patient input, Building relationships, Environment for co-design activities, Impact and effectiveness. Based on the themes a checklist has been created to provide practical suggestions for both professionals and patients on approaching co-design for service improvement. Conclusion: This study offers policy and practice partners a clearer understanding of co-design and factors to consider when approaching co-design in real life settings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thank you to our patient representative within the steering group. We would like to acknowledge the Northern Cancer Alliance who collaborated on the study and helped to identify health professionals for the focus group. We would like to thank the Clinical Nurse Specialists who helped to identify eligible patients. Finally, we would like to thank all the health professionals and patients who took part in the study.
© 2022 The Authors. Cancer Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.