Using synectics in health and social care

Unlocking creativity in healthcare: The power of synectics

Innovation and creative problem-solving are paramount in the dynamic landscape of healthcare and social care provision. Synectics, a powerful brainstorming technique, offers a structured approach to foster creativity and tackle complex challenges within these sectors. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into how synectics can revolutionise healthcare practices and enhance patient outcomes.

Key facts and statistics

  • Studies show that fostering a culture of innovation in healthcare can improve patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes (Source: The Health Foundation).
  • According to a Deloitte report, organisations prioritising innovation are more likely to adapt to industry changes and remain competitive.

Key definitions

Synectics is a creative problem-solving method developed in the 1960s by George M. Prince and William J.J. Gordon. It emphasises the integration of seemingly unrelated elements to generate novel solutions.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

In the UK, healthcare providers must adhere to regulatory frameworks such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards and the Health and Social Care Act 2008. While these regulations primarily focus on service quality and patient safety, fostering innovation is increasingly recognised as essential for delivering effective care.

Understanding synectics

Synectics operates on the principle that breakthrough ideas arise from juxtaposing seemingly disparate concepts. It encourages participants to explore unconventional associations and think beyond traditional boundaries. By leveraging analogies, metaphors, and visual stimuli, Synectics unlocks latent creativity and stimulates innovative thinking.

Application in healthcare

In healthcare, synectics can be applied to diverse scenarios, from streamlining administrative processes to optimising clinical workflows. For example, interdisciplinary teams can use synectics to brainstorm solutions to reduce patient wait times or enhance communication between care providers.

Benefits of synectics in healthcare

  • Enhanced problem-solving - Synectics enables healthcare professionals to approach challenges from multiple perspectives, leading to more comprehensive and effective solutions.
  • Promotion of collaborative culture - By fostering a culture of collaboration and open-mindedness, synectics encourages teamwork and cross-disciplinary communication.
  • Empowerment of staff - Engaging frontline staff in synectics sessions empowers them to contribute their insights and experiences, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment to improvement initiatives.


To harness the full potential of synectics in healthcare settings, organisations should consider the following recommendations:

  • Training and development - Provide training sessions on synectics techniques to staff at all levels, fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Dedicated innovation spaces - Designate physical or virtual spaces where teams can convene for synectics sessions, equipped with tools and resources to facilitate brainstorming activities.
  • Integration into quality improvement processes - Incorporate synectics into existing quality improvement frameworks, ensuring that innovative ideas are systematically evaluated and implemented.


In an era of unprecedented challenges and opportunities in healthcare, embracing innovative approaches such as synectics is essential for driving meaningful change and improving patient outcomes. By harnessing the collective creativity of healthcare professionals, we can unlock new solutions and elevate the standard of care delivery.

Ready to revolutionise your healthcare practice? Click here to explore how synectics can empower your team to innovate and excel.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Unlocking creativity in healthcare: The power of synectics - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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