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Delphi Medical

Delphi Medical is one of the UK’s leading providers of of clinical treatment for recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, working within the NHS Blackpool CCG.

In the face of funding cuts, austerity measures and competitive tendering processes, Delphi Medical was required to maintain or exceed the level and quality of service that they were delivering. In order to achieve this, Delphi Medical needed to bring their service delivery closer into line with patient expectations, needs and wants, while also find new opportunities for service innovation. My design team adopted an EBCD approach in the aim of catalysing the progression towards a community of co-creation; a cultural framework that builds service user knowledge and confidence, promoting them to take self-directed action in partnerships with professionals— putting users not only at the centre of service delivery, but also to their production and continuous development.

The design-led process identified the constraints of the organisation and local context, while identifying and emphasising the needs of the service users. The design outcome of the project was not a final solution, but instead a new behavioural model that promoted continuously user-centred service innovation for Delphi Medical. A new behavioural model — ‘The Delphi Loop’ — enabled and facilitated a cultural shift within the organisation, ensuring that users are embedded in generative processes and the future development of their own services; by involving users as partners within the relationship, sharing decision making, and empowering patient advocates to lead service initiatives.

The design-led project drove significant change, enhancing the user journey and patient well-being, through improving feedback procedures, promoting shared ownership, while also reducing costs and improving organisational processes— enabling continuous innovation capabilities and behaviours.

I was delighted to hear that the project's outcomes directly assisted Delphi Medical to achieve many 'good practice' points during Care Quality Commission review; greatly helping them achieve a “safe, patient-centred, well led, caring and accountable” assessment.


Alex completed a piece of design research on our company to try and develop our service user voice and help make our company more user orientated. I was very impressed by his organizational skills, focus and drive. We made a few changes initially but now plan to use his research to drive significant change in our company. The quality of his report was first rate.
— Dr John Richmond, MD, Delphi Medical