My Home Hospital Co-Design South Australia

In 2017/18 the State Government made a commitment to rebalance the health system by increasing and enhancing existing out-of-hospital and community-based hospital alternatives as a key strategy in supporting the sustainability of the system into the future.

My Home Hospital is exactly that – acute hospital services provided in your home.

Hospital in the home services are not new – but what is new is the scale of this project and also the way in which it was created.

In early 2020, Wellbeing SA contracted democracyCo to design and deliver a large scale co-design program – to explore and work through detailed program design decisions.

The Approach

The co-design program was conducted in 3 parts:

  1. Lived experience engagement
  2. Citizen designed principles
  3. Large scale co-design

Lived Experience

The lived experience program aimed to understand what peoples experience of hospital was – both those who had experienced hospital services in the home and those who had attended a traditional hospital. A series of 30 interviews were conducted with individuals, and some small group workshops with priority care groups – mental health, disability, LGBTQIA+, aged care.   

Citizen designed principles

Following the lived experience, a random sample of lived experience participants convened online for 2 sessions to create and finesse the project design principles. These principles were used to inform the codesign.


A total of 160 came together over 3 days to co-design key aspects of the program. Of this group, 20 people were ‘everyday South Australians’ who volunteered their time to work with senior medical and clinical practitioners and also allied health staff and health care administrators. Over the three days, the group explored key design considerations (such as eligibility criteria, collaborative provision of services, managing deterioration) and provided detailed advice and recommendations to Wellbeing SA and the service provider, Calvary Medibank.


The program is being prepared to be rolled out at scale in July 2021. Whilst some details still require working through, the co-design has effectively informed the SA medical community about the program and allowed them an unprecedented opportunity to design the biggest change to health services ever seen in South Australia.

The co-design has also resulted in open and thriving lines of communications – ensuring the program can continue to evolve using co-design methodologies. 


"I wish that everything I’ve ever worked on had this amount of people working and contributing to it"

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democracyCo’s work is undertaken on the lands of Australia’s First Nations People.

For millennia, you as the ancestors have been guardians of this Country and we deeply respect and acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.

As we collaborate together, democracyCo will look to Australia’s First Nations people, the world’s oldest living culture, for guidance that will help sustain our connection to Country and inform the work that we do to bring people together.

Our work is in service to Reconciliation and to moving forward together.

We acknowledge that we have much work to do.