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Co-production Week 2024

 1 – 5 July 2024

Theme 2024: ‘Co-production: What’s Missing’?

Co-production is about working in equal partnership with people using services, carers, families and citizens. Co-production offers the chance to transform social care and health provision to a model that offers people real choice and control.

Monday 1 July marks the start of Co-production Week 2024, a celebration of the power of co-production to design and develop better ways of doing things in social care, hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

It celebrates the benefits of co-production, shares good practice and promotes the contribution of people who access care and support in developing better social care.

The theme this year, ‘Co-production: What’s Missing’?, invites us to look at the need to go beyond familiar voices and increase equity and diversity in co-production, think about how we can access better training and development and have clear definitions and language around co-production. We’ll also be thinking about how to show the impact and difference co-production makes and how we can make a good business case for it.

By focusing on what’s missing, we aim to spark discussions and innovations to address those gaps and improve people’s experience of co-production in social care.

There’ll be a programme of activity throughout the week including webinars and an online conference with guest speakers and workshops highlighting co-production in action as well as tools to show the difference co-production makes.

We’ll share resources, publish blogs and have plenty of interactive discussions on social media highlighting what’s missing in co-production and what’s needed to amplify the experiences and perspectives of diverse groups of people.

We’re currently co-producing the schedule of activity with people with lived experience – more details about what’s happening each day of Co-production Week coming soon!

Co-production with people with lived experience of social care underpins and informs what SCIE does, enabling us to recommend best practice in social care.

Co-production as an agent of change

The theme of Co-production Week this year is ‘Co-production: What’s missing?’

It’s an interesting and wide-ranging theme, and I’m sure it will lead to all manner of useful debate and information sharing, probably including consideration of issues relating to time, resources, and support from decision makers to enable co-production to happen. The fact that this is likely to be the case indicates that the idea of co-production has made considerable headway in recent years, and this in itself is cause for optimism (although it should be recognised that when people talk about ‘co-production’, they’re not necessarily talking about the same thing).

I came to co-production from a background of active involvement in the mental health survivor movement, which included a focus on the principle that support and services should be developed in accordance with the needs and wishes of people with lived experience, rather than on what people without this direct experience thought was good for them. As a means of bringing people together on the basis of equality, co-production holds out the promise of enabling this to happen. If the core co-production principles of accessibility, diversity, equality, and reciprocity were put into practice in a meaningful way, the health and social care landscape would be transformed beyond all recognition. But evidence of transformation that makes a positive difference to people’s lives can sometimes seem thin on the ground.

From my perspective, what’s missing in co-production is a commitment to recognising it as an agent of change. Co-production should not be treated as a jargon word, or a more impressive sounding term for tokenistic involvement, or something to be paid lip service to while maintaining the status quo. Co-production practice should result in changes to relationships, behaviour and delivery that bring recognisable benefits to everyone. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Patrick Wood

Chair, SCIE Co-production Network

Picture of Patrick Wood

Events, activities and online resources – 2023

Programmes, activities and events hosted by SCIE and other partners promoting Co-production Week 2023 are listed below.