Monday, 10 July 2017
Evolve: co-producing how we work with our customers.
By Pia Hansen, Special Projects Manager, Evolve Housing and Support
We are about to launch our new approach to support this summer. Last year we worked with staff and customers to review how the existing approach was going. Customers were happy with the support they receive and at the same time some areas for improvement were identified. Customers wanted a focus on what is strong and positive about them and on their relationship with the wider community, which led naturally into focusing on a more asset-based approach to working.
A working group of staff and customers was set up in late October to jointly create this new approach to support. As a group, we designed the new approach and the paper work, made sure staff and customers could review and feedback at every stage and eventually agreed on what it would look like. The new approach, which focuses on a customer’s wellbeing, their satisfaction with where they live, their community connections and their aspirations, is proving to have a positive effect after the initial pilot. One customer said about his experience of the new support plan: “I have really enjoyed being able to take the time to complete this and I feel like it is mine and something I can work towards. I have liked looking at my strengths…’ .
Customers and staff worked together to review the feedback from the pilot and to make any necessary changes. They also worked together to develop training for staff on how to work with the new approach which is in the process of being delivered. Over 60 staff and customers have been involved in this process with over half of these being our customers. The design, decisions and training work around the new approach have been done in partnership with our customers, and has resulted in a great new way of working for the organisation.
One of our managers said: “Co-production allowed us to test ideas and bring current lived experience to the planning process. This is essential for any new support approach and invaluable to the ethics of design. By focusing on co-production, we have been able to get all parties to take ownership in its design and delivery and develop it into something that works for all and not something that is just implanted on our clients.”