Co-production Week 2019

Co-production Week 2019

Monday, 16 April 2018

Co-production: not rocket science?

By Pete Fleischmann, Head of Co-production, SCIE 

Co-production is about people who use services and carers working in equal partnerships with professionals to design and deliver services; and I don’t often hear someone arguing over the value of co-production.

I do however, hear people say that it isn’t, or shouldn’t be portrayed or perceived as, rocket science. But if it is so simple a concept, why aren’t most health and social care services delivered in co-production?

I think the answer to this question is in two parts

Firstly people are complex and contradictory, have different working styles and are very diverse in many other ways too. So working in really equal partnerships is not, as it turns out quite as easy as it sounds on paper.

Secondly the systems that we have created to provide and health and social care systems are fiendishly complicated. So introducing co-production into these systems and trying to get real change is a pretty tricky business. 

Training days

To do co-production well it is important that everyone involved has the same understanding of exactly what co-production is. We have two training sessions in the lead-up to Co-production Week:

Co-production: an introduction. A CPD-accredited course giving an introductory overview of co-production and how its principles can be applied in the workplace.
Paying people who receive benefits training course. Giving an overview into best practice in terms of co-production and the benefits system.
If you go to the links above, both courses have feedback from delegates who have just finished a day’s training.

So, is co-production straightforward? Well, for instance, it’s not easy making sure that a meeting or activity is accessible, especially if the people who are attending have a wide range of access requirements.

So actually doing co-production well can have its challenges. But we’re here to help. As well as our training we have a wide range of other co-production resources. And please get involved in the third annual Co-production Week from 2 July 2018. All of this can help you find that, with a bit of support from us, co-production isn’t always rocket science.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Guidance on co-producing a research project – a first step

By Gary Hickey, Senior Public Involvement Manager at INVOLVE (About INVOLVE)

Gary Hickey 
Last year I made a pledge at SCIE’s co-production event to develop some INVOLVE ‘Guidance on co-producing a research project.’  I’m delighted to be able to say that we did it!  The guidance was co-produced with colleagues from across the National Health Institute for Research and beyond and is our first step in moving toward clarity on what is often a contested issue.  

It was an enjoyable, if difficult, exercise.  We have five key principles:

  • Sharing of power 
  • Including all perspectives and skills
  • Respecting and valuing the knowledge of all those working together on the research
  • Reciprocity
  • Building and maintaining relationships.

We have drawn on the expertise and work of others to develop this guidance.  We asked many people – who often had a great deal of experience in co-production - to comment on the emerging principles and key features. So thank you for your contributions and I hope you can see your comments reflected in the resulting guidance.  

Our intention is not to promote co-production as a ‘gold standard’ or preferred approach to involving the public in research.  Rather we just want to further prise open the co-production opportunity.  People can use the guidance to steer and critique their own, and others’, work.  Our next step is to collect examples of co-produced research which show our key principles and features in practice.  

Please do send in your examples 

Co-production presents challenges to how we think about, fund, do and manage research.  Indeed, when developing the guidance some people told us that the challenges are insurmountable and that we should give up.  I’m pleased we didn’t heed this advice. As Martin Luther King once said:
‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’