Skip to content

Closing the gaps in co-production

1 July 2024
By Kathryn Smith, SCIE Chief Executive Officer

Person-centred care and support can be incredibly powerful, not just for individuals who receive it but also for their loved ones and those who provide it. We know that when services are designed around people’s needs, this can lead to better outcomes, such as empowering individuals to manage their own care, strengthening relationships between people who draw on care and support and health and social care staff, and overall better health and wellbeing.

Co-production plays a vital role in ensuring effective person-centred care; working in partnership with people with lived experience, carers and families to design and deliver services is the only way to ensure social care and healthcare models offer people real choice and control.

At SCIE, co-production underpins and informs everything we do, which enables us to recommend best practice in social care. And, as someone who has drawn upon social care in a personal capacity for myself and other members of my family, I am passionate about making sure people are consulted, and their voices valued and respected, so that we build social care provision in a way that best meets their needs.

Image of SCIE CEO Kathryn Smith

Co-production Week 2024

Every July, we take the time to celebrate the benefits of co-production, but it’s also important to use this opportunity to look at where we can continue to improve our approach to it.

The process of co-production isn’t always easy, but it is always hugely rewarding for everyone involved. This is why it’s so important we get it right and always explore ways to do things better.

This Co-production Week, we are throwing a spotlight on four key areas that we have previously identified as needing greater focus to make sure co-production is as inclusive and as effective as possible. These are:

  • increasing equity and diversity in co-production
  • demonstrating the impact and difference co-production makes and how we can make a good business case for it
  • accessing better training and development, and
  • the need for clearer definitions and language around co-production and social care.

Last week on LinkedIn, many of you told us that highlighting the impact co-production can make is a particular challenge. We’re pleased to be able to support you in this with our new Co-production impact resource, which will help you develop a flexible framework to demonstrate impact more easily and consistently. And of course, it has been developed with the support of people with lived experience of care, and co-production practitioners to make sure it is grounded in best practice.

You have also been telling us on X that increasing equity and diversity is a struggle. We will be discussing this, and the other key areas, in more detail throughout the week and particularly as part of a workshop at our online conference on Wednesday.

Ahead of Co-production Week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Patrick Wood, Chair of our Co-production Steering Group. We had an interesting discussion about the four ‘missing’ areas we have identified, and what needs to change and how.

As Patrick said during our conversation, by focusing on what’s missing in co-production, we hope to spark discussions and innovations to address these gaps and ultimately improve people’s experience of co-production in social care.

Kathryn Smith and Patrick Wood: Addressing gaps in co-production.

If you would like help to address ‘what’s missing’ from your co-production approach, please contact SCIE at to hear more about how we can support you.

Connect with us

Contact details for the SCIE press office

Free MySCIE account

Get SCIELine ebulletin & access all resources.