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The ebd approach (experience based design)


The ebd approach (experience based design) is an exciting new way of bringing patients and staff together to share the role of improving care and re-designing services. It is being developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement as a way of helping frontline NHS teams make the improvements their patients really want.

While leading global companies have used similar approaches for years, the ebd approach is very new for the NHS. Where it has been used in the health service, it is having amazing results -  delivering the sort of care that leave patients feeling safer, happier and more valued, and making staff feel more positive, rewarded and empowered.


New masterclass on the ebd approach 8 November 2012

Due to continued demand, we are delivering a new masterclass, which will introduce key concepts of the ebd approach will be suitable for anyone considering how to optimise the use of patient experience in designing and improving healthcare. Find out more and book.

What you can do now to improve patient experience using the ebd approach

hands.jpg EBD_Guide50.jpgThe NHS Institute now has an introductory film on the ebd approach, which will show you how you can improve your patient’s experience. 

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement

EBD_Guide50.jpgThe ebd approach guidance and toolkit, which will support you to design your own health care services based on patient and staff experience is now available, you can order your copy now by clicking here. This toolkit is available to all staff working in NHS England (up to 20 copies per organisation) and available at a cost of £30 for further copies and to others.

candc_small.jpgAvailable Now - The ebd approach – Concepts and Case Studies Book. This Introduces the concepts behind the ebd approach, and demonstrates through case study examples where better understanding has created full partnerships between patients and staff and considerable improvement through co-design. You can order your copy now by clicking here

ebd_facilitators_guide_small.jpgNew - The ebd approach - Facilitator's Pack. A brand new resource consisting of presentations pre-loaded on a USB memory stick and a printed facilitator's guide, which will enable you to lead a session on the ebd approach and its delivery. The resource contains film of patients and staff at different stages of the ebd 'journey', and detailed presenter notes to help you deliver a 30 or 60 minute facilitated workshop. To order your copy click here

What’s special about the ebd approach?

People round a table Using experience to design better healthcare is unique in the way that it focuses so strongly on capturing and understanding patients', carers' and staff experiences of services; not just their views of the process like the speed and efficiency at which they travel through the system. Instead, this approach deliberately draws out the subjective, personal feelings a patient and carer experiences at crucial points in the care pathway. It does this by:
  • encouraging and supporting patients and carers to ‘tell their stories’.
  • using these stories to pinpoint those parts of the care pathway where the users’ experience is most powerfully shaped (the ‘touchpoints’).
  • working with patients, carers and frontline staff to redesign these experiences rather than just systems and processes.
Download EBD tools

Sheelagh Wren "We're working as equals alongside staff, sharing ideas and finding commonsense solutions"
Sheelagh Wren


Carole Glover "EBD has prompted me to act on some of the things we've wanted to do for ages"
Carole Glover
Clinical Nurse Specialist


John Pickles "It's the way patients feel at certain points of their care that leads us to the hard improvements"
John Pickles
Consultant Otolaryngologist