Monopoly to understand the wider context of health and social care 

Claire Tarrant – School of Health Sciences 

One of the learning outcomes for the Foundation Year for Nursing is to ‘understand the wider context of health and social care’.  No small task when the Department of Health and Social Care works with 26 agencies and public bodies, and the NHS is one of the world’s largest employers, employing around 1.2 million full-time equivalent staff. 

Now, exploring the semantics of how these various agencies and public bodies work together in the ever-changing political, economic fora is a joy, but one I recognise is reserved for a small minority.  And so, Monopoly; Accessing HealthCare Edition was born. Making use of the economic nature of the game I replaced each of the elements of the board with the agencies, public bodies and organisations that are involved in the provision of health and social care in England.  

The students were each given their starting budget of taxpayer money of £1500 and a board, set of organisations cards, chance and community chest cards and an organisation guide which provided an explanation of the category of service as well as details to the specific provider.  The Chance and Community Chest cards offered the opportunity to add in some of the regulatory foundations, increasing winter bed capacities for those providing hospital-based services and fines for data breaches!  

Following a short introductory presentation about the Department of Health and Social Care (its funding and leadership), the students were given a case study of a person who had a series of health and social care needs.  The students were asked to consider, as they played, where the person in the case study could access support for their care needs and encouraged to explore how these services are accessed and provided.  And so, during game play the students started to discuss the complex organisation of health and social care. 

It would be helpful to make an online version of this game to allow flexibility when updating the organisations and converting to other subject matter.  

For more information contact: Claire Tarrant, Senior Teaching Fellow,