A discovery project to identify what a CAMHS service should look and feel like.

Case Study CAMHS Tier 4 Image 1


In February 2017, we were tasked with discovering ‘what a fantastic inpatient CAMHS service should look and feel like for the young people, their families and CAMHS staff in Hull’.

mHabitat ran a discovery process that engaged young people, parents, carers and staff in generating ideas for a digitally enabled Tier 4 CAMHS service. 

Our two creative discovery workshops asked the question: “What should a fantastic inpatient CAMHS service look and feel like for you?

To enable participants in both workshops to answer this question creatively we took them through the following activities:

  • Persona development: the participants could build up the profile of an imaginary person who would be accessing CAMHS services. As a group, they were able to write down and discuss potential challenges, as well as the person’s goals and necessary support. Some of the participants used their own experiences in the personas.
  • Ideas: after the personas exercise, the participants came up with ideas to help the personas with the challenges. Some of the ideas were about the physical environment of an inpatient unit, while others were about service improvements such as digital technologies.
  • Build it: each group chose one or two or their ideas that they felt were the most important and wanted to develop further. Some of the groups combined ideas and created a whole unit or service.
  • Share: each group presented their idea back to the room for feedback. We offered a voting system to find the top ideas from the sessions. The participants felt that all of the ideas presented were equally important, so couldn’t choose favourites.
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Learning Points

The participants had a lot to say about the current services, and knew what they wanted from CAMHS in future. In total, we had 35 young people participating in the workshops, generating 12 personas which were referred back to by Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

The ideas were grouped and themed into categories such as:

• Look

• Feel

• Services

• Spaces

• Support

• Access


We generated a report that documented the project and broadly analysed the results which were incorporated into a successful bid to develop the new inpatient unit. 

Humber NHS Foundation Trust have been successful in securing a multi-million pound contract to develop their new unit. The Trust will establish an 11-bed unit for 13 to 18-year-olds from Hull, the East Riding and North and North-East Lincolnshire after signing a 10-year deal with NHS England. We are pleased to have played a part in helping young people be part of the process and to elucidate their views.

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An NIHR funded piece of research that, through co-design, explored the motivations and barriers to tooth brushing amongst young people from deprived areas.

Learn more

User research outputs

Co-design, Young people, NIHR, Tooth Brushing

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