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Co-production: I was intrigued

14 March 2023
By Tasnim Rahman, SCIE Research Analyst

Depending on your professional background, lived experience of accessing services, where you work and engage with services, your perception of what co-production is will differ.

When I worked in youth services, I hadn’t heard of the term co-production. I would consult young people on their views on strategies and programmes. Then, we would deliver the programme ourselves and discuss the outcomes with the same group of young people, covering what went well and what would be better to do next time to keep improving the service. There wasn’t wider engagement with others who took part in activities and programmes, and thinking about it now, I wonder how I would have done things if I knew co-production was a thing.

Image of SCIE employee Tasnim Rahman

Since joining SCIE I’ve heard the term co-production being used a lot and was quite intrigued in the beginning. At SCIE: “We acknowledge there is no single perfect definition of co-production, but we use the following as a good starting point. We see co-production as a process that involves people who use services being consulted, included, and working together from the start to the end of any project that affects them. When co-production works best, people who use services and carers are valued by organisations as equal partners, can share power and have influence over decisions made”.

I was present at SCIE’s panel event during co-production week in 2022 (read my blog post below) and spoke to people from various professional backgrounds and with lived experience of accessing different services. Since then, there has been some keen interest on what the practice means to different people, what other terms are used in different settings, and what barriers may exist in its implementation.

To understand this, we have launched a survey for adult social care professionals and people with lived experience of adult social care services, to look at how familiar people are with the term co-production and its principles. The survey is not to test anyone’s knowledge, but to explore differences in language, opportunities, challenges and barriers. The survey will close on Tuesday 4th April 2023, and the findings of the survey will be reported between co-production week from Monday 3 July 2023 to Friday 7 July.

Ready for Social Work Week, we have launched a survey for adult social care professionals and people who draw on services, to share their thoughts and experiences on co-production. The survey will close on Tuesday 4 April, and its findings will be reported between National Co-production Week from Monday 3 to Friday 7 July.

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