National conference, 23rd April 2014 - help shape it!

Added by Olivia under General Chat

On 23rd April 2014, the network will support JIT  in delivering their 3rd national conference on co-production and capacity building, and this year, we are calling on the network to tell us what the focus of the event should be.

Help shape the event and get involved by answering a couple of quick questions here. And don't forget to save the date!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas!


Co-production in mental health: why everybody wins

Added by Sarah Lyall under General Chat

Putting service users at the heart of planning and delivering mental health services saves money and changes lives...

Last month a mental health nurse turned twitter activist, Helen, made a crucial point about mental health services in the UK. By providing a running tweet commentary on her own time as a patient in a mental health hospital she highlighted the powerlessness and alienation often experienced by people within the system.

But what if the firsthand knowledge and insights held by service users like Helen could be harnessed to not only improve, but help deliver our mental health services? Today we’re launching a new report, commissioned by Mind, the mental health charity, which explores the potential of co-production to do just this.

Co-production is essentially where professionals and citizens share power to plan and deliver support services together, recognising that both partners have a vital contribution to make.

One example of a co-produced approach we reviewed is the Service User Network in Croydon. The network is jointly organized by psychiatrists and service users, both groups working together to plan and deliver meetings and events, focusing on topics that matter most to them. It aims to bring people together in a range of different ways - from meetings to social events - to help them support each other. Members are able to learn new skills and find different ways of managing difficult experiences.

We’ve been working with Mind to understand when, why and how co-production has been used in mental health services in the UK and internationally, and the impact this has – both on people’s lives and the public purse.

Getting more from our services

We found that when mental health services were co-produced, those services were more effective for the people using them. They experienced:   

  • An improved sense of belonging to local groups and networks. Co-produced activity supported stronger relationships with peers, family and friends: in one example 90% of participants reported reduced isolation.
  • Reduced stigma. People involved in co-production experienced reduced stigma from professional staff in mental health services; less stigma in accessing services and reduced stigma from the ‘community’.
  • Increased skills and employability. Co-production meant people were able to improve skills, engage with formal learning and training opportunities and gain longer-term employment. People involved in the Expert Patient Programme reported a 24% increase in paid employment.
  • Reduced need for emergency health care. In Croydon the members of the co-produced Service User Network reported a 30% reduction in the use of accident and emergency services after six months. In Arizona, the peer employment training approach  reduced re-hospitalisation by 56% after one year.
  • Improving physical and mental well-being. This was the strongest theme that emerged. We found that interventions shaped by co-production had a powerful impact on people’s sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness, and on their personal, social and emotional capabilities. These are all fundamental to our ability to experience positive life outcomes and to maintain and grow our well-being.

Better value for everybody

But service users aren’t the only ones who benefit from co-production. As our public purse is put under ever more strain, we found the approach makes economic sense too. It leads to

  • Increased capacity and impact of public services. Because the approach brings new resources (such as peoples’ lived experience, time, skills and resources) into the design and delivery of public services, the capacity and effectiveness of the services shoot up.  As members contribute skills and expertise alongside professionals, services become more diverse and affordable.
  • Greater monetary value to individuals and the state. Some of the outcomes that people experience from co-production (such as reduced admissions to emergency services) can be monetised, and represent a direct saving to the state.

Get involved

Mind will use the information in our report to support it’s local Mind network implement co-production to ensure it’s offering the best possible support to anyone who needs it.

Together we want this report to trigger a wider conversation about the current levels of co-production in mental health services in the UK. That’s why, alongside NDTi and Think Local Act Personal we’re launching a survey to hear more about where co-production is happening in the UK mental health arena, the challenges people are facing and how we can work together to ensure it can flourish. If you’ve experiences of co-production or ideas about how to help it take off further we’d love you to complete the survey and share them with us.

By Lucie Stephens

Reblogged from www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/co-production-in-mental-health-why-everybody-wins

Co-design Assistant - £16,000 (Fixed Term until December 2014) - Young Scot

Added by Lisa Murphy

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity, supporting young people across Scotland aged 11 - 26 to make informed decisions and choices and to access opportunities.  We do this through a variety of dynamic information channels, magazines and online services such as the national youth information portals for Scotland – www.youngscot.org and www.youngscotextra.org.

We presently have the following vacancy available to join our office in Edinburgh.

 Co-design Assistant £16,000 per annum (Fixed term until December 2014)

The role is based within the Information Research & Strategy Directorate and provides support for Young Scot’s Co-design and Consultation function. Reporting to the Co-design Manager, you will support young people and organisations from across Scotland to gather views and co-design relevant and engaging services for young people. This is a key role in a fast and dynamic team and is a real opportunity to be involved in making a difference to young people.

At Young Scot, you can look forward to an excellent package, including a generous holiday entitlement and Stakeholder Pension.

 Closing date: 5pm on Friday 15th November 2013

Further details and the application materials : http://www.youngscot.net/contact-us/jobs/co-design-assistant.aspx

Please share this opportunity with your networks.

Coproduction in a Hospice

Added by libbymilton under General Chat

Hello everyone, I'm looking for a wee bit of help and wonder if anyone can prompt me.

I work in The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow and, along with my colleague carol, are looking to co-produce hospice services with those folk who have personal experience of palliative care. Carol and I have read a lot, talked a fair bit and both of us feel passionately about this approach but need a wee bit of help translating into practice.

Would anyone offer some mentoring and support to us?

Thanks in anticipation : my email is libby.milton@ppwh.org.uk

Tackling Health Inequalities - response to NHS Health Scotland's CEO's message

Added by Janet Muir under General Chat

I welcome Gerry McLaughlin's (Health Scotland's CEO) recent message on tackling health inequalities.  Gerry emphasises that to make more than a dent in Scotland' health inequalities, the causes as well as the effects need to be addressed - unequal distribution of power, money and resources.  Actions that require individuals to 'opt-in' to make choices should be replaced by structural changes in regulations and polices in relation to areas such as income, housing and food.  Tackling inequalities should be the concern of all. And more than ever, democratic renewal is required with public services, the third sector and community groups working together effectively to build a vibrant civic society. The Co-Production Network and CHEX Network along with others are in a strong position to support the renewal.  To find out more about Gerry's message - read 'In Brief' here - http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/22086.aspx .  

Janet Muir, Manager of Community Health Exchange (CHEX) 

Could your organisation be a pioneer with the 'Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens' initiative?

Added by NickWilding under Evaluation & Measuring Impact,General Chat

Skilled Workers Skilled Citizens 'pioneer site' 
East Ayshire Vibrant Communities team filmed in August 2013.

As many people involved in this network already well know, the 2011 Christie Commission made radical proposals for reforming public services in Scotland. In an age of declining resources and escalating need, Christie's report pointed out that services were completely unsustainable if they carried along the same track.

It highlighted mounting evidence that switching resources into prevention could both save money and create the conditions where more resilient communities could emerge. It signposted that services should become more integrated, and embed assets approaches in the way they work. The question was: how to achieve this?

During 2012, the Scottish Leaders’ Forum (which comprises Chief Executives from Scotland’s public agencies) considered how to take the Christie recommendations forward. One outcome was a commitment to explore the implications of assets approaches for workforce development. In other words, for public service organisations to learn together how to make it easy for all their staff - from frontline workers to people in traditionally 'back office' roles - to learn alongside citizens how to embody the values and skills of assets ways of working. 

Make no mistake, this is an enormous agenda of culture change for institutions that have decades long histories of establishing systems and structures that do not make this very easy at the moment. And of course this is happening at a time of rapid change in response to budget cuts. As well as coping with this pain, is there a way to sow the seeds of something more positive and hopeful at the same time? An opportunity to rethink how organisations go about 'workforce development'? An opportunity to challenge other tenets of an old, managerialist approach that involves too much top down target setting and not enough compassion and emphasis on how people relate as both workers and citizens with each other?

It turns out that these type of questions have begun to generate a lot of interest from organisations from right across the public services in Scotland who are coming together through the Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens initiative (SWSC). The initiative is all about opening up spaces to share learning and particularly to follow the stories of 'pioneers' who are getting on with re-inventing what workforce development looks and feels like in their context.

The initiative is six months old and we are still in the early stages of signing up 'pioneer' organisations alongside places like East Ayrshire Vibrant Communities, Threshold (Glasgow) - part of Crossreach Scotland; Police Scotland, the Prisons Service and more. We aim to be open and inclusive - anyone can attend quarterly Reference Group meetings, and we are already beginning to generate new resources like the video at the top of this blog. We aim to do much more of this as part of the wider public service reform work happening in Scotland. For example, here's a video we took at a Reference Group meeting hosted by Threshold in June:

Skilled Workers Skilled Citizens Third Meeting, Threshold Glasgow June 2013 from Nick Wilding on Vimeo.

Latest News

Last Friday (13th September) the Reference Group met at North Inch Community Campus in Perth. As part of the meeting we devoted an hour or so to learning in detail from Catriona Ness (well known in this network!) and Jackie Doe about their work establishing 'The Scottish Healthy Communities Collaborative' since 2005 in Perthshire. This was a really powerful meeting because we were able to learn from many years' experience of a pioneering 'assets' initiative that is already well established and has lessons about how such work can be sustained - and the challenges connected with this.

When they are ready, notes about this meeting, along with all our previous ones, are at


These will shortly move to a new group on KnowledgeHub which I'll annouce here too so folk can join the conversation there. 

How to Get Involved

The easiest way to get involved is to get in touch with me - either via this website or via my email nick.wilding@sssc.uk.com. My mobile number is 07557 494605 but it's easiest for me to schedule a call in advance.

As I've said there will soon be a website (due to be launched in the next couple of weeks) where I'll be posting blogs and more. I'm also tweeting @nickwildingsssc

Although I'm based at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) in Dundee, my remit is to work across a full spectrum of public service organisations to I get out and about a lot. The pattern is that after an initial contact I'll arrange to come visit to explore in more detail the opportunities and how to build on the best of what every organisation is already doing (we are attempting to 'walk the talk' of assets approaches in the development of this initiative).

If you decide you'd like to be a pioneer organisation, the next step is to draft up a 'statement of intent' (which I can help with) as the basis for a follow-up meeting with myself and someone from the Reference Group, where we can pin down what kinds of support will be most helpful to you, and what you might be able to offer to the wider group.

We hope that pioneers will be able to host a meeting of the Reference Group at some point, too. This can be a good opportunity to showcase work you've been developing, but to also invite in some critical friend feedback to prompt a reflection amongst people in the organisation/s about how to build on what's worked so far - and what might be missing. For example, when Jackie and Catriona shared their story last Friday I think I'm right in saying they found the feedback very valuable and practical for questions they are holding right now about how to take the initiative forward into a new phase.

There are lots of options after that. One good one is to invite me along to meet with people involved (ideally a mix of users of services and staff) to get some video footage of a live reflective conversation like the one at the top of this post. We can then co-produce the video (nothing would go out without being OKd by everyone present). The East Ayrshire folk said that the experience was really rewarding both at the level of their team ('we don't get a chance to do this much') but also as a way to generate a resource that can help to communicate the essense of what they are about to other people in other places.

This really is at the core of what Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens is all about: building on the strengths, passion and commitment of people who are already taking an assets approach and know that to be really effective we have to transform cultures and insitutions and perhaps even the way government works in the process. You might call it movement building! 

A bit about me

This initiative is run collaboratively by the Reference Group. My role is to help make connections, generate resources, and generally maximise the opportunity that this initiative can make a real impact for people in Scotland.

One of the conversation points at previous Reference Group meetings is that part of the culture change is that we invite people to show up as 'whole people' - not just the professional hat they wear. So, for example, at the start of last Friday's meeting everyone introduced themself in terms of something that 'drives them' or they are passionate about that is not immediately obvious in the day-day working context. 

This exercise revealed that a lot of us are parents (I have two young boys, four and two); many of us value creativity of some form (whether it be sowing or poetry or painting - for me, it's music and I play fiddle, guitar and piano); and affirmed that many of us took a decision to get involved with public services at some point in our lives because of our personal values and commitment to justice, fairness and wanting to make a positive contribution in some way (for me, community resilience has been a big focus - in a previous role at Carnegie UK Trust I had an opportunity to develop some of this through a publication called 'Exploring Community Resilience' - (PDF file here). I'm also really interested in how to make videos and animations that can go 'viral' - one experiment I was involved with was called 'Surfing the Waves of Change' -


Responding to this post

Responding to this post

If you'd like to get in touch directly, please do. But it would also be great if you wanted to ask more questions and to do that by commenting on this post - then I could reply in public and other people might find this helpful...

And thanks for reading all the way to the end!

Equal Partners in Care resource to support workforce learning on carers

Added by GillR

Hi, I'm Gill Ryan and I'm the project lead on the Carers Strategy for NHS Education and the Scottish Social Services Council. I'm new to the network and I wanted to tell you a wee bit about our project Equal Partners in Care (EPiC). Hopefully you will see ways it can fit in with work you're doing involving carers and you may be interested in collaborating and sharing practice on this. Read on...

The Equal Partners in Care core principles for working with carers and young carers were launched in June at a reception to mark national Carers Week. The core principles are intended to underpin workforce learning for the health, social services and other sectors and will help ensure a consistent approach to working with carers and young carers. They are based on six key outcomes for carers and outline the knowledge and skills workers need to identify and support carers. You can access the core principles, related practice examples and learning resources at www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/equalpartnersincare or www.ssks.org.uk/equalpartnersincare

Equal Partners in Care is a joint project between NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council to implement the workforce learning elements of the Carers Strategy 2010-15. The next stage of the project is to distribute the core principles and make sure they are used in practice.

We are looking for people in different practice settings, from health, social services, third sector and other services, educators and training providers, to use the core principles to plan their workforce learning on carers and young carers.  As part of an EPiC Implementation Network, you can take part in an online community of practice, share your experiences of using the core principles, and learn from what others have done.

If you are interested in getting involved in the EPiC Implementation Network, please contact me for more information at gill.ryan@nes.scot.nhs.uk






Hi there!

Added by samjordan under General Chat

My name's Sam Jordan and I'm the newest addition to the SCDC team. I recently joined as Information and Communciations officer and will be spending some of my time working on the Scottish Co-production Network as part of my role.

I'll be helping to maintain this website and keep you up-to-date with the latest news and events around the sector as well as helping to spark some discussion. I'm really looking forward learning more about co-production, as well as engaging with you all on the website and at future events - so don't be a stranger!

You can get in touch with me at sam@scdc.org.uk or can tweet me @SCDC_Sam

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Co-production Case Study Collection

Added by wordsofpower under General Chat

Hello everyone. My name is Lucy Ritchie, and I am part of a group called Independent Living in Scotland, which works to raise awareness of the rights disabled people have to live a life on their own terms, and to increase access to those rights. Coproduction is a method which ILIS considers to be an essential part of successful work towards social change, and because of this the group has commissioned me to produce a document which collects 5 case studies of the ways in which coproduction has been used and the results it has achieved. This collection is meant to inspire others, groups or individuals, to work together more successfully as equal partners to achieve their goals.

The case studies on this website are exactly the kind of stories I'm looking for, and I'm writing here to ask permission to perhaps use the details of one or 2 of them in my collection. They will of course be written out and discussed differently, and full credit will be given in the finished document in whatever form the members here advise me would be appropriate. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I would appreciate any help and advice anyone here would have.

Many thanks in advance,


Co-producing Wales - thanks and appreciation to Scottish colleagues

Added by Ruth Dineen

Dear Wondrous Scottish Colleagues

Just wanted to thank you all for the inspiration, support, advice and assistance you have given the co-pro movement in Wales...one outcome has been an Open Letter to Welsh Government and party leaders, signed by 256 individuals from 131 Welsh organisations, and supported by additional letters from across the globe, including several from Scottish co-pro champions. We were featured on BBC Wales, and will be on Wales this Week in June.

Co-pro is definitely on the agenda, from the front line to the heart of government. We couldn't have done it without you as our shining example.

Diolch yn fawr!

Ruth and 255 Welsh co-prodders (and several sheep)

Tweets and blogs

Added by Olivia under General Chat

As I slowly get better at tweeting, I am stumbling across more and more stimulating blogs and articles by following #coproduction. Such as... an interesting international perspective that highlights different understandings of co-production, empowerment and participation in cities. Some interesting reflections of how far co-production has come in the UK and an short Guardian piece that challenges the view that co-production isn't new. Our Welsh friends at All in This Together are also tweeting to gathering signatures for their letter to the Welsh Government, and closer to home, links to examples of co-production in care leavers' services and local housing strategies.

I use the hashtag #coproductionscotland for sharing news of co-production in Scotland, and you can follow me @SCDC_Olivia,  (I'd also recommend following @evoc_milind who is a speedy tweeter on all things co-production from our very own network!)


What's your role?

Added by Lisa P under General Chat

Thanks to everyone at SCDC, the Co-production Network and JIT for a thoroughly stimulating day at the National Co-production conference last week. Not only did I get the change to meet a range of interesting, interested people, but it also helped me crystallise some of the things I've been wrestling with over the past wee while.

For instance, prompted by some snazzy photography and interesting questions (what's your role?) from the people of SNOOK, I got to thinking about how we support practitioners to adapt to an assets or co-production way of working.

From IRISS' own work, we've established that when working in a co-productive way, roles and responsibilities will naturally shift. Equality of voice and shared responsibility does not have to mean that the roles of all participants have to be the same. In fact, equality might be promoted by different parties playing particular roles at different points (see: IRISS' Evidence Explorers project report by Dr Sally Witcher for more detail, due end March). Therefore, we don't think it is possible to identify just one role per 'actor' in the coproduction process.

At the conference there was violent agreement - coproduction matters and is valuable. That being true, you could easily understand why it might be a difficult thing to understand as a practitioner who hasn't worked in this way before. How do you go about explaining that you need to be flexible and use your intuition to know when and how to adapt your role? How do you explain that, through the emergent nature of coproduction, there will be significant challenges to traditional models and methods of project management? How do you support practitioners to be comfortable with uncertainty?  How do you convey that in the end it will all be worthwhile because the outcomes you've reached will far outweigh your expectations?

In our experience, these can be difficult questions to answer, though not insurmountable. Some of the things that we’ve found useful include:

  • supporting practitioners to facilitate – i.e. the practitioner creates enough structure to help things along but doesn’t direct the line of travel by asking open questions and welcoming others’ contributions
  • establishing a ‘design group’ – a small group of interested people who represent all perspectives. These people should direct the line of travel and provide a useful forum to run things past
  • the value of peer support - peer support workers give confidence to people who use services, but also challenge behaviour and attitudes
  • support for practitioners –set up ‘drop-ins’ or ‘forums’ as a safe space for practitioners to share concerns or who need space to think through any issues
  • strategic leadership – leaders who ensure that collaboration and outcomes are at the heart of the organisation.
  • doing something novel - creating an equal platform by effectively removing 'expert' and asking everyone to contribute

These are just some of our thoughts - but there is a lot we could learn from the network (in the true spirit of co-production!) - how have others in the network overcome these challenges?


New publication: Co-production of Health and Wellbeing in Scotland

Added by Olivia under Tools & Methods

In Scotland co-production is no longer just a ‘nice idea’ but a necessity to deal with increasing health inequalities (Sir Harry Burns) and changing demographics and expectations (Gerry Power). This book shows how and why Scotland has become one of the leaders in public service co-production – and how the lessons learnt so far can be applied more widely.

In includes an article from me, as well as foreword from Derek Feeley, NHS Scotland and Rory Mair, CoSLA

This is a new book published by the Joint Improvement Team  and Governance International in association with the Scottish Co-Production Network and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

Download it here


Pertinent CHEX policy paper

Added by AndrewSCDC under General Chat

Hi all,

Thought I'd take the opportunity to highlight CHEX's new policy briefing, “Tackling Scotland's health inequalities: A time for radical change?”, which brings together some recent policy statements and research findings around health inequalities in Scotland, including recent reports from Audit Scotland and Scotland's Chief Medical Officer.  These provide stark reading for anyone concerned with improving the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged communities.

Within the documents there is a call for radical change in how Scotland tackles health inequalities. CHEX welcomes and supports this call for change together with greater recognition and backing for the contribution that community-led health approaches can bring. Read "Tackling Scotland's health inequalities: A time for radical change?"

Follow tweets from the national conference with #coproduction13

Added by Olivia under General Chat

The national JIT conference - Coproduction and Community Capacity Building, took place last week in Edinburgh, where over 200 delegates came together to hear keynote speakers and co-production examples. You can follow some of the discussion from the day by using the event hashtag #coproduction13

See the News section for presentations and webcasts from the day

Register now for the next network meeting and practice exchange

Added by Olivia under General Chat

The next meeting of the network will be held in Stirling in the new Forth Valley College Campus on 26th March and will bring together practice based inputs from network members who will share their learning and host discussions. Inputs from:  Neighbourhood Networks, Young Scot, and the Stirling Co-production and Communtiy Capacity Building Project.

We'll also facilitate discussion around defining what co-production means for your practice, and identify priorites for the network.

Download the programme and register here if you would like to attend this meeting and practice exchange.

Many thanks,


Some jolly news from Wales

Added by Ruth Dineen under General Chat

Thought some of you might be interested in an initiative from South Wales which I heard about at a recent conference. The Community Wellbeing Coaches project has been set up by Maria Ryan and Loran Relph www.communitywellbeingcoaches.com/  and is already having an impact...And Pam Luckock in North Wales is looking at the possibility of using time-banking to bring coaching to communities.

And at the policy end of the spectrum Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences have just relaunched their famous Policy Cafe events. These aim to bring together policy-makers, researchers, academics and professionals plus wine and cheese (suave eh!) to co-productively pool their experience and expertise and, hopefully, influence policy. The relaunch is on 26 February and the theme is co-production. I'll report back on any breakthrough insights (and/or on the quality of the wine).

Finally, Nick Johns of Cardiff University is starting an academic co-pro network in Wales. This was inspired by the IRISS / JIT relationship...we hope to share knowledge and resources across the disciplines, and start to disseminate research outcomes more widely and with louder trumpet blasts. Getting lights out from under bushels is the 2013 new year resolution.

Thanks to Scottish colleagues for continuing to inspire us...

New reports, publications and events

Added by Olivia under Tools & Methods

Hi folks

I have just added some new events in the calendar and some new reports in the Resources section of the website including a series of reports from JRF around support in older age and from David Boyle around how people use choice in public services.



Community Pharmacy Partnership Northern Ireland

Added by elspethg under Tools & Methods

Here at CHEX we have had contact with the Community Development Health Network in Northern Ireland over many years. It occurred to me that their long standing programme of Community Pharmacy Partnership projects might offer a model of co-production that we would benefit from in Scotland. Here's the link to their website check it out and decide for yourselves. http://www.cdhn.org/pages/index.asp?title=Building_the_Community-Pharmacy_Partnership