Critical Care Futures

“Our biggest challenge in conducting research in ICU is gaining consent. We want the public’s help to find out the best ways to ask for consent and explain why we need it.” – Annemarie Docherty

‘Exploring Futures for Critical Care Research’ is a new project recently awarded funding by the Scottish Public Engagement Network (ScotPEN) through a Wellcome Engagement Award. The project, led by Dr Annemarie Docherty in collaboration with Dr Catherine Montgomery and Dr Corrienne McCulloch, aims to facilitate dialogue between different ICU stakeholders on the boundaries between research and care in order to influence our approach to ICU research in the future. The project will use methods from design research – cultural probes – to generate insights into experiences of ongoing ICU research and to capture preferences for this in the future for the people who contribute to research studies.

Image credit: Interaction Research Studio

Cultural probes are used in design research to gather information about people’s behaviours, values and thoughts. They take the form of interactive, playful and thought-provoking tasks. In collaboration with Glasgow-based design studio Andthen ( we will co-design probe tools with patients, relatives and researchers who work or spend time in ICU. Working with Andthen and with probe participants, we will transform these insights into a public-facing installation about the future of ICU research. This will be a scalable output, that can be replicated in ICUs around the UK. We will also produce an insight report for professionals to guide them in person-centred approaches to data use and consent.

The CLAP Study

  • Critical care work during COVID-19: Sociological insights
    Critical care work during COVID-19: Sociological insights How has critical care work changed during the COVID-19 pandemic? How has COVID-19 changed how care is provided, how frontline staff, patients and families communicate, and how the NHS responds under pressure to the ‘new normal’ of pandemic surges in critical care? The CLAP Study sought to answer […]