Co-production Week 2017

Co-production Week 2017

Monday, 10 July 2017

Co-production in Action in Hampshire

By Robert Droy, Chair of Hampshire Personalisation Expert Panel at SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living. 


For me personally, this year will mark 20 years of working on coproduction. Back in 1997, it wasn't actually called coproduction, it was often called user involvement, but the aims and objectives were the same; how to get statutory services to involve people in designing, delivering and evaluating services in a meaningful way rather than just a tokenistic way.

Fresh from graduating university, I had seen first hand the discrimination that many Disabled People face when trying to find employment. Despite the government's ‘two tick’ system, statutory services seemed reluctant to employ Disabled People, let alone give them genuine chance to influence the development of services.

When I finally got a job in the user led movement, I met many of my peers wanted the same things I wanted. I also started to meet staff within the local authority who could see the value that service users could add when developing services. Over the next decade, in Hampshire at least, we were lucky enough to work with the local authority on a number of exciting projects, particularly around Independent Living and empowering Disabled People to have more choice and control over their lives. This resulted in the formation of the Personalisation Expert Panel, a group of service users and carers who work with senior managers in a coproductive relationship on social care reform. I have chaired the PEP for the past 9 years.

Despite the worsening financial situation, in Hampshire we have continued to work closely with the local authority and now with the Clinical Commissioning Groups to ensure that service users’ voices are not only heard but that we are around the table with senior managers when key decisions are being made.

Last Friday, 40 service users, carers and senior managers formed a Transformation Coproduction Board to specifically look at the Transformation plans that are being made for the next 2 years. Senior managers will not only report on what their plans are but also will need to specify where coproduction has or will take place and what effect it has had.

The Board will not replace the existing coproduction groups in Hampshire such as the PEP but will ensure meaningful coproduction remains a priority over the next 2 years and beyond. This is an great example of coproduction in action and how things develop over time. SCIE’s Coproduction Week is an excellent opportunity for all of us to share and learn from others’ examples.

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