Co-production is a concept that applies across all public services. Its heart is in community development and tackling social injustice.
It is based on the idea that health and social “problems” can’t be resolved by either government, or public service professionals, or individual citizens alone, but are best tackled in genuine partnership, with each party contributing their particular skills and knowledge.
It’s not a new concept (it was first used by the researcher Elinor Orstom in the late 1970’s) but it has sadly become the latest jargon word and box to be ticked.
My personal experience of feeling I was a passive recipient of services and support sparked my interested in alternatives to the traditional (and forgive me, but soul destroying) processes of ‘consultation’ or ‘user/carer involvement’.
My experience of both of these transported me back to my childhood and that classic Blue Peter moment when the lovely Valerie Singleton or John Noakes proclaimed, ‘and here’s one we made earlier…..’. In other words, I could offer an opinion on the size, shape or colour of a service, but not be part of the fundamental question; ‘what is the problem we are trying to solve and what options do we have to do it?’
What you’ll get is an honest appraisal of how things are working now and a comprehensive and practical plan to move towards a genuinely co-produced approach to how services are designed and run.
You’ll need to be prepared to go on a journey with the people who currently use services in your local area, and will likely be a senior manager and/or commissioner who is frustrated with how things are working now and desperate to see things change.
I have worked with some great people over the last few years to produce some resources around co-production that will give you more detail of what I can offer, and as sense of what we could achieve together.
People not process: co-production in commissioning – http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/co-production-in-commissioning-tool/about-this-resource/
Co-production: how are you doing? A self reflection tool – http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/co-production-in-commissioning-tool/stories-and-resources/resource/?cid=10662
Co-production – changing the relationship between people and practitioners – http://www.peoplehub.org.uk/new/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/CoProduction.pdf