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Using design futures, scenario writing and visioning

Using design fiction to re-imagine the future of social care

The challenge

In 2017 the British Chancellor agreed to invest an additional £2bn extra into social care over the next three years in response to the growing calls that England’s social care system has reached ‘crisis point’. While this unexpected financial aid was much welcomed, many health and social care professionals believe it’s too little, too late to create a sustainable way forward for social care.

If current trends continue, the Health Foundation estimates that by 2030 adult social care in the UK will have a £13bn deficit - the biggest expense of which will be around long-term care. In light of this, Hatch, Uscreates’ Research & Development team created three very different fictional futures that explore what a more sustainable vision of social care could look like.

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Social care future scenario example

The approach

Grounded in current data, related examples and historical patterns, each of these futures attempts to spark conversation and reflection around the current and future state of social care. Each vision has a different emphasis on what can be done to make the social care model more sustainable including:

  • Making care more community supported

  • A partnership between the public and private sector

  • The full privatization of the service

In light of this, the following three future scenarios were created:

1) The New Big Society: Moving away from state-funded services, the government instead
focuses on empowering communities and individuals to build better social care services themselves


2) An Ideal Partnership: Government services partner with the private sector to allow them to provide better adult social care for their citizens


3) Corporate Control: Social care is fully privatised and care has been divided up between different companies to manage

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