collective voice

Thanks for dropping by our blog page. Our team of over 60 full-time experts use the latest thinking in behavioural design and enablement via our people-shaped methodology to Make Better Happen for individuals, organisations and communities. Our specialisms of applied behavioural insights, design through co-creation and leading-edge social marketing and engagement are at the core of all that we do. Our mission is to be part of a society that is well, confident and resilient. If we can help you take a journey to be your best self, please call us on 0845 5193 423 - our promise to you is that we never settle for second best.

Is it time to get on board with the online wellbeing disruptors?

November 18, 2016 10:06

Easy answer – yes. But for a start, let’s commit heresy, and ditch the word ‘disruptor’. It’s already stopped being a useful concept and is now a meaningless buzzword.

The simple fact is that healthcare and wellbeing are branching out and embracing new ways of reaching more people in more effective ways. As health and wellbeing services in the UK are, in the main, commissioned (and often delivered) by the NHS and local authorities, new technology is having a significant impact.

So what does this mean for providers and commissioners like you? It’s all about understanding the consumer, as a recent report by PWC explains.

Our health and wellbeing platform at is based on a huge amount of qualitative research with people all over the UK and quantitative analysis of data. This research produced some genuine insight into their needs:

  • People want to do more for themselves but don’t want to be dependent on a traditional local ‘service’ to get results
  • People have great aspirations for their families
  • People are fed up with the traditional support model for lifestyle services
  • People are fed up with silos of support and want services joined up
  • People distrust local authorities and ‘Government’ and want to do things for themselves
  • People made little differentiation between NHS and ‘Government’

Puffell is based on these fundamental principles and is now being used across the UK as a front line ‘shop window’ of lifestyle services for citizens to get key information about lifestyles and long term conditions, set goals and track their progress. Service providers use the sophisticated back end as a case management tool, allowing them to provide the right level of support to every type of person locally – from those who need full on face to face support and interventions to those who just need signposting to the right tools, as well as everyone in between.

The good news is that however the user is supported, commissioners and providers are able to understand how whole populations are making lifestyle improvements and where to target their resources most effectively as a result.

And we are seeing it work: smokers are reducing the average amount smoked per day[1]; people are reducing the amount of alcohol units they consume each day[2]; and people tracking their weight are showing an average 4% body weight reduction[3].

A report by Appboy earlier this year showed that less than 20% of new health and fitness app users return the day after they first download it. Yet Puffell has proved to be used consistently over time by people trying to make a lifestyle change. Unlike other apps, you actually get to see the anonymous data behind it for your area.

Puffell is the only dedicated platform that has been developed in partnership with NHS CCGs, hospital trusts, community trusts, local authorities and Public Health England, and is endorsed by the NHS Innovation team.

It’s time to get on board with Puffell to support your citizens with lifestyle, wellbeing and long term conditions management.

To find out how you can get involved, contact Stuart Jackson on 0845 5193 423 or at

[1] Mean reduction of 7.4 cigarettes smoked over average of 158 days

[2] Mean difference of 4.3 units tracked per day over average of 127 days

[3] Mean difference of 3.1 kg tracked over average of 168 days

The surprising solution to help tenants with Universal Credit

March 7, 2016 10:37

Read More on our pdf The surprising solution to help tenants with Universal Credit

Read More in our top 3 challenges to the housing sector blog


Insight Research Case Study

February 18, 2016 12:18

Insight Research Case Study 

ICE worked in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Public Health team to design and deliver three comprehensive insight research studies focusing on:

  •   Physical activity in fathers aged 26- 45 years

  •   Breastfeeding amongst young white British women aged 18-25

  •   Alcohol consumption amongst young women aged 18-25 

Read More.... Insight Research Case Study


For more information please contact:

Jayne Prendergast

07970 720 769 

NHS Vanguard sites – hold co-creative, meaningful engagement events that bring your vision, discussions and ideas to life!

January 20, 2016 09:20


Help your local health population, workforce and partners understand where you’re going – even better, take them with you!

Vanguard sites have already proven themselves by securing the opportunity to boldly implement new models of healthcare.


As the NHS looks to break the mould and deliver new services that build on the foundations laid down in the 5 Year Forward View, they will all need to connect with their local population, workforce and partners in order to secure buy-in and shape their approach. ICE can work with you to host meaningful, collaborative engagement sessions where everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas and, just as importantly, they see those ideas recorded and transformed right before their eyes.

“…I was really impressed with what he was producing…we are looking to organise a patient feedback event involving children and this type of interactive and fun recording would be perfect for it.” – Dr Avril McCarthy, MedTech Lead NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC 

When engagement techniques and their outputs fail to connect with their audience, we tend to see:

  • A lack of opportunity for citizens/staff/partners to have their say or learn from one another’s experiences
  • Alienated individuals that don’t see how they fit into the picture or how the vision will work for them
  • Wordy documents that don’t capture the buy-in or imagination of the audience

What happens if you provide a level arena for conversation and ideas to form together, along with clean questioning and vibrant visuals?

Our change practitioners will help you to tell your story with everyone in the room included, and all of it is captured onto your very own graphic visualisation by our gifted scribes.

What can our co-creative graphic visualisations give you as the hosting organisation?

  • Focused insight to unlock belief systems and create a unified energy amongst individuals

  • A visual set of iconic metaphor-centred reminders, owned by everyone who took part

  • Incredible visuals - readily available to share, promote and revisit the conversation

  • Assurance that the audience understands the purpose of your discussion and that their input feeds it's objectives

What benefits do your audience receive?

  • Captivating facilitation that drives productive conversation, whatever their learning preference or confidence.

  • They won’t feel that they are being influenced into a certain response thanks to our clean questioning approach and open discussion

  • They are more likely to buy into the ideas being discussed as they can see their input is being captured and appreciated/debated by others in the room

For more information see our Graphic Scribes Booklet and call us on 0151 647 4700 or email


Improved Tenant Experience from Repairs

January 14, 2016 10:15


One thing the ICE insight team find is that a tenant’s experience of reactive repairs clouds their view of many other services supplied by the housing provider. Further, this insight also shows that tenants will not strive for or achieve personal growth (in skills, wellbeing, employment etc) when the basics are not right. Repairs are one of these basic requirements; this is true whether it’s a local authority or a housing association.

The quotes below are from our insight work with a housing association and are not unusual:

“I’ve been trying to get this leak fixed in my roof. They said I should talk to them, but they have been a pain.”

“It’s bad… we had about an eight week battle to get the patio doors fixed.”

ICE is currently working within the sector to help organisations enhance the services and support provided to tenants, and to understand the benefits that a tenant focused repairs service can deliver. It’s worth remembering that reporting a repair is the most common interaction between tenants and their housing provider, and we all know how important that relationship is to both parties.

Working with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, our service review identified that over 30% of contacts received were from tenants chasing the progress of their repair. This volume was higher than those contacts where tenants reported a repair. This one statistic alone gives real insight into how tenants perceive the service they are provided with, and was the catalyst for the council’s desire to transform.

Here’s how it worked…

The work was based on the ICE model for service transformation, where our experienced practitioners help staff transform their own services - after all, “those who create, own”.

It began with stakeholder meetings designed to set up the work cleanly by building relationships across the service and with wider stakeholders to ensure the most value from the review.

Then followed the explore stage, where a team representing the whole of the service was brought together to create a current state map.  This visual representation of the in-scope work included the demands placed on the service by its customers, the flow of work and data to show the performance of the systems, as well as details of the root cause of reactive repairs.

The envisage stage then allowed the team to present these findings back to the wider stakeholder group at a vision workshop, ranging from tenant representatives to the executive management team. It was at this event that areas for improvement were agreed, and buy-in from across the organisation was gained. This buy-in was vital to ensure that any changes would be sustained in the future.

Through a period of experimentation, operatives, charge-hands and team managers were given the ability to use innovative solutions to the issues they faced.  They used an agreed methodology that built upon the principles of systems thinking to guide them, and measured the changes made against an agreed set of customer focused performance measures.

What did it achieve?

As well as virtually eliminating the failure demand chasing the progress of a repair, the team has reduced the time for reporting to completing the repair by over 50%, with plumbing repairs now running at an average of less than 2 days.

Reduced repair times have also had a knock-on effect to the “no access rate”, which had been a major cause of waste within the system.

It is still early days, and January sees a period where ICE will support the services to embed these changes and make them business as usual.

For more information contact 0151 647 04700