Please help us set up a Co-production Network for Wales!

Added by Ruth Dineen under General Chat

Dear lovely Scottish colleagues

We (Co-production Wales) are currently entirely voluntary/unfunded, which limits our capacity to start the revolution. So we are hoping to get Lottery funding to set up a member-led Co-pro Network for Wales (based on your epic example). If you / your organisations have benefitted from the Scottish Network please send us an email telling us how, plus a sentence or two about you and the work you do. Every single message will help strengthen our chances of success. And you will be forever blessed!

My email is ruth@coproductiontraining.com.

Thanks all, and thanks for the continuing inspiration. Ruth

New resources added!

Added by samjordan under General Chat

Hello all! We've added a few new items to the resources section, along with some new videos. 

Rural communities and co-production

This report, Involving Rural Communities in Health and Care Services Co-Production: promoters and barriers as reported in the academic literature, is about what helps and hinders the involvement of remote and rural communities in the co-production of health and care.

Find out more in the Research or Related resource section.

How social action is transforming lives

This video from NESTA talks about involvement of volunteers in public bodies. You can see more in the Video section here.

Plus lots more!

Found anything new or interesting to share? Leave a comment or get in touch: sam@scdc.org.uk.

PPHW Reference Group recruitment

Added by samjordan under Evaluation & Measuring Impact

PPHW Reference Group recruitment
PPHW is part of the National Person-Centred Health and Social Care Programme and is funded by the Scottish Government.

The PPHW Reference Group aims to achieve this by providing a platform for people who use supports and services and carers to influence and provide a lived-experience voice.  Reference Group meetings take place every other month (on average) with regular attendance being beneficial.  

Further to Group meetings there are regular opportunities for members to attend conferences, workshops, and training, forums and networking events.

For more information click here or contact download a reference group form here and Lisa.Gardner@alliance-scotland.org.uk.

Powering Ahead: Citizen involvement in the future of public services - 28 Aug (Perth)

Added by samjordan under Values & Principles
Don't miss out on a rare opportunity to be inspired by two leaders in community empowerment from the internationally acclaimed Highlander Center in Appalachia, Tennessee, alma mater of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
  • Dewars Centre Perth, Thursday 28 August 2014
Pam McMichael and Elandria Williams from Highlander will run two Skilled Citizen masterclasses as part of this unique action learning event for active citizens, third sector organisations and public bodies in Scotland.  
  • How can community members, public sector staff and the third sector genuinely work together as equals, not simply to reshape public services, but to transform our communities?
  • What skills and resources do local people need to be more effective agents for change within their own communities and how can they get them?
  • Do public sector staff have the skills and knowledge they need to work differently with local people?
  • How can the opportunities afforded by major change programmes such as Health & Social Care Integration and Community Empowerment help move Scotland closer to delivering the sort of transformation proposed in the Christie Report?
  • Where can we find the inspiration and enthusiasm that we all need to work together in the long term for communities that are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable?
These are some of the questions that will be discussed in round table action learning sets at this participatory event that is being organised by the Fred Edwards Trust with the support of the Scottish Community Development Center, PKAVS and Perth & Kinross Council.   

To register, please click here

Whose Shoes workshop, 24th Oct, Glasgow

Added by samjordan under General Chat

Whose Shoes?® is an award-winning and exciting workshop allowing you to 'walk in other people's shoes' through a range of activities and topics.

This event will give you a chance to hear from Gill of Whose Shoes? and Ken who is living well with dementia, then they will give you the opportunity to try out the approach under the watchful guidance of Gill, Ken and the team. A networking lunch and a chance to talk to Ken, Gill and all the team will also be available. You can find out more about the @WhoseShoes approach here.To find out more about Dementia Scotland Consultancy and Training see here.

  • Friday, Oct. 24th
  • 10am Glasgow City, United Kingdom Scotland

You can find out more and book here.

Storytelling for Co-production

Added by Olivia under General Chat

Storytelling for Co-production event summary

Last week the London Co-production Practitioners Network met for a session hosted by Latimer Creative Media where together they developed personal Co-production Stories and Stories of Self. Participants experimented with social media, tweeted #MyCoProStoryand made short film clips.

"We learned that...

  • Stories help communicate values to people by engaging their emotions
  • Stories can motivate others to act with us - in ways that only providing a laundry list of actions or strategies cannot
  • Social media can be used to communicate stories in bite size chunks.

The Storify for the event is so good, you almost feel like you are there >>>> https://storify.com/mycoprostory/mycoprostory"


NEF's slides from the event are available here

>>>> Co-production Story of Self


IACD is recruiting!

Added by samjordan under General Chat




£27,145 to £30,096 Pro Rata

IACD is a global network of community development associations, practitioners and activists who are committed to issues of social justice. It has over 3,000 members and subscribers worldwide  http://www.iacdglobal.org/

IACD is seeking to appoint a Coordinator to work 24 hours per week to take forward its role in promoting, networking and supporting community development internationally.

This is a challenging role which will both benefit from experience and provide a unique work experience for the successful applicant. 

Professional support and office accommodation has been offered by the Scottish Community Development Centre, based in central Glasgow.

The Governance Board for IACD is drawn internationally and the successful application will be required to possess good IT skills and be capable of working independently towards agreed objectives.

For further details, please contact Jackie Arreaza, Office Administrator, IACD, at:

jackie.arreaza@iacdglobal.org or 01337 858 808, or contact Charlie McConnell, President of IACD, at charliesmcconnell@gmail.com

The closing date is 20 August 2014.  Completed applications should be returned to:

Jackie Arreaza

Office Administrator

International Association for Community Development (IACD)

The Stables



KY15 7AF


01337 858 808

It is intended that interviews will take place on 9 September in Glasgow.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill published

Added by Olivia under General Chat

Today, SCDC launches a new website for community groups, Communities Channel Scotland on the same day as the publication of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill. 

The Scottish Government has funded the development of the website, which puts communities in the spotlight by connecting people and sharing ideas. The Communities Channel will share the stories and experience of community groups and organisations in their efforts to improve their communities, and highlight resources that can help groups in their work.

The website will provide regular news stories on any developments affecting community groups, whether at a national or local level.

Visit Communities Channel Scotland

To make the Communities Channel as relevant and up-to-date as possible, SCDC would like you to send us your news and stories. If you would like your community group to feature on Communities Channel Scotland, have any news, or know of any resources and other content that others would find useful, please contact Andrew Paterson - 0141 222 4837

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

Published today, the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill is designed to strengthen and nurture community participation and encourage enterprising community development.

The Bill will include provision for communities to take over public sector land and buildings where they can show they can deliver greater public benefit with those assets. It will also  streamline and extend the existing community right to buy, and embed Scotland's performance framework in legislation, ensuring the Scottish Government remains focussed on improving outcomes for communities.

Acknowledging that community empowerment can only be achieved with proper support, Local Government Minister Derek Mackay, in announcing the Bill, confirmed an increase in funding from the People and Communities Fund by £1.5 million to £9.4 million per year in 2015-16.

  • Click here to read the full Scottish Government news release on the Bill

Reflection on being on the planning group for the CoPro conference 2014: a community assets approach to workforce development?

Added by NickWilding

I am working on an initiative for the Scottish Leaders' Forum called Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens (www.bit.ly/swschub). This blog tells the story of my involvement in the planning team for the 2014 CoPro event, and learning that's come out for me. It's intended to complement the write-up by Sam on this site. Please comment or offer feedback if you're able...

Getting involved with the planning team

Back in January I was invited along to help plan the third annual conference of the Scottish Co-production network (with partners the Joint Improvement Team at the Scottish Government, ALLIANCE and People Powered Health and Wellbeing).

Early on in the development of Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens several people involved with the network had helped us out with ideas, contacts and inputs at early meetings. If there was some way to reciprocate and support the network now, it made sense. So I went along to that first meeting to see if there was some useful role I could play, and to also think about whether putting some time into this could be relevant for SWSC.

Let’s co-produce the co-production conference!

In that first meeting, I heard Gerry Power from JiT talk about this being the third event in a series. In the first year, the network was launched. The second year focussed on a book about co-production. Both of those events had involved over 200 people.

And now the challenge was about how the co-production community in Scotland could get more confident together, project a stronger voice based on evidenced practice, and thus step up a gear in terms of its reach and impact – towards a future where co-production of services is more the norm rather than the exception.

After that introduction, the conversation quickly turned to thinking about which speakers could ‘draw a crowd’. We talked around options for keynote speeches and workshops, but something about the way we were thinking about this event wasn’t right.

Half way through, we had a break through. If the purpose of the event was as Gerry had proposed, then should we think about running it in a new way?

Instead of starting by thinking of some high profile speakers to bring in – why not prioritise building on the assets of the co-production community in Scotland?

Why not enable this community itself to run the event? That would be more congruent with our topic of co-production.

We quickly agreed that, holding the core purpose of the event in mind, we should take a big risk in changing the format of the event – and the approach to planning it – to refocus on how to unleash the assets of the network itself.

"I think what was important about this process was that early on we had a discussion about to what extent we could co-produce the conference. We acknowledged that this couldn't really be co-production in its truest sense - because the communities & service users we work with, and network members and delegates we hoped would attend on the day, hadn't been engaged in the the planning process so far - rather they were invited along they way to collaborate and co-design and deliver the day. We were all certain however, that as far as possible, we wanted to embed the values of co-production into our process"

-      Olivia Hanley (commenting on a draft of this blog)


A co-produced conference? A great example of pioneering a community assets  approach to workforce development?

I quickly got excited about this idea. In SWSC we’ve been realising that assets approaches can fundamentally challenge traditional thinking about what ‘workforce development’ is. We are learning how organisations are opening up to allow users of services to shape how, what, where about when people learn.

I saw how that this event planning team could share its experiment alongside other teams and organisations who are sharing their learning as SWSC pioneers.  This work could help open up questions like:

- What is the place of large scale co-produced conferences as part of community assets approaches to workforce development?

– What skills, attitudes and approaches are needed to effectively design and host events like this? What habits and assumptions about how to run an event would we have to ‘unlearn’?

-      What evidence is there that running events on ‘community assets’ principles translates into better outcomes for people in communities? and

-      If this experiment is successful, and evidence of impact is clear, could this example help to spark a revolution in how events like this are run right across Scotland? 


What did we learn in the early planning conversations?

This challenge we had set ourselves took quite some thinking through.

The design group involved about eight people (it varied at different meetings). Our first decision was that instead of us inviting people we already knew to do talks, we should ask the whole network who might like to contribute to the event.

In one early meeting, it was mooted that the whole event could be run on the model of an ‘un-conference’, run on ‘open space’ principles. In this model, everyone arrives at the beginning of the day in response to a clear invitation which reflects the purpose of the event and who it is intended for. In a facilitated session at the beginning of the day, everyone gets a chance to offer to lead a conversation – on a question or experience that really matters to them, right there and then on that day. The idea is that instead of coming along to sit passively listening to someone else, that as many people as possible actively contribute. In this way, the idea is that you get more ‘bang for your buck’ because more people are taking more responsibility to get what they want from the gathering. It's not just down to a few people setting the agenda on the basis of a guess about what might fire people up.

As we discussed the proposal, the group reached agreement on several points:

-      Firstly, many people might not feel confident to engage in this way. While it may be OK to challenge ‘sharp elbowed’ professionals, already confident in stepping forward to speak, the space to do so…. Others might need more structure and support;

-      We imagined that the event would attract people who are in different places in their understanding of co-production. Therefore it would make sense to attempt to offer content to meet peoples’ ‘learning edges’. We saw three rough categories – people setting out; people wanting to deepen their understanding; and people with a good grounding wanting to stretch themselves by inviting critical feedback on their practice;

-      And also that the design team itself did not all have experience with open space type formats, and it seemed too big a risk to put all our eggs in one basket.

This was a rich conversation that seemed full of wisdom. In our way, it seemed to me we were talking through some of the big issues in any assets or co-production type work: issues of readiness for change, appetite for risk, capacity to offer something new (and engage with it), and how to build on where people are ‘at’, including existing strengths.

The format we agreed on was that

-      Formal keynote talks would be minimised as much as possible;

-      The whole network would be invited to propose workshops to populate the event in advance – and that we would seek to ensure that there was a good spread of offers that would meet peoples’ learning needs (eg beginner/intermediate/advanced); and

-      Elements of the ‘open space’ type philosophy would be woven into the day. In an early session, people would be invited to reflect on what questions and experiences they could actively share during the day; and what they would hope to go home from the day with. And people could opt to join an open space double session, run in parallel with other workshops in the afternoon.

We did some more thinking, too, about how to invite workshop proposals so that the hosting team could do some quality control to ensure that, especially for intermediate and advanced participants, they were attending genuine workshops rather than more didactic sessions (for example, someone with a powerpoint presentation talking at people, leaving little time for conversation or questions).

The workshop invitation form therefore asked people to outline the proposed topic (and how it related to their lived experience), how they intended to run the workshop, and who would be involved in offering the workshop (we hoped that users of services would be running workshops as far as possible).

In retrospect, I think we made a mistake here, though. Although the form was structured in this way, it didn’t make explicit the criteria on which the workshops would be chosen or who would be doing this choosing. I think that this was partly because we hadn’t thought ahead that far. I certainly hadn’t anticipated that there would be so many offers to run workshops that we’d be very over-subscribed – which then brought the issue of being transparent about which ones ‘passed’ to the fore. This is a learning point for next time.

In the event, and once we had clarified the maximum capacity of our venue (Pollok Halls in Edinburgh), it proved possible to combine some workshop offers; to propose that others because offers in the ‘open space’ session; and suggest to others that they be further developed for a field trip of other offer through the network at a later date.

Learning from the day itself

The conference was over-subscribed, and from the moment I arrived, there seemed to be a great buzz in the air. I got the real sense that people were happy to reconnect, and very motivated to be there.

The early plenary sessions were short and sweet, just as we planned. The early ‘plan your day’ exercise turned up the volume in the room to the point where it was hard to let people know it was time for coffee. People helped each other to write their questions and expectations on luggage labels; and the organising team then hung then on a beautiful wooden tree that then formed a centrepiece in the gathering area outside the main room (leant to the event by the Living it Up initiative -https://portal.livingitup.org.uk/).

In some conferences, workshops never seem to have enough time. But I didn’t get that sense at this event – 75 minutes in the morning gave space for inputs, reflections, probing questions (at least in the ones I was in).

The open space session attracted about fifty people, who self-organised into six or seven table conversations, and then during a second session one of the participants we gather into a round-table plenary. People were speaking clearly, strongly, and from their hearts. It was working!


Early reflections on my questions

Personally I would just be a bit cautious about overplaying how revolutionary a process it was to design the event.  We had good intent, it was a good process and produced an excellent output but I think the lesson I would draw is that even if yoiu go someway towards a co-produced approach you seen begin to see the fruits.

  • Lisa      Curtice, in a comment on a draft version of this blog.

I started this blog with four questions:

- What is the place of large scale co-produced conferences as part of community assets approaches to workforce development?

– What skills, attitudes and approaches are needed to effectively design and host events like this? What habits and assumptions about how to run an event would we have to ‘unlearn’?

-      What evidence is there that running events on ‘community assets’ principles translates into better outcomes for people in communities? and

-      If this experiment is successful, and evidence of impact is clear, could this example help to spark a revolution in how events like this are run right across Scotland? 

As I write, the design team is due to have a debrief. A surveymonkey based evaluation form will test whether those expectations that people put on their luggage labels were met. But I have a gut feel that, by running the event in the way we did, we have let a bit of a genie out of the bottle.

The big, enthusiastic response to the call for workshop proposals; the way in which the event was over-subscribed; the buzz overall… all points, for me, to a group of people enjoying themselves, making connections, learning and getting inspired. A visible sense of a movement building confidence, clarity and experience with what is still a fresh way of working for many.

But for me the biggest learning came through being involved with the design team. I felt genuinely welcomed, listened to and encouraged as a newcomer. I noticed people respecting each other’s ideas, anxieties, senses of what would be best.

I enjoyed reaching what felt like some wise decisions about creating an event where many different people, at different stages in their learning, could feel as welcome and able to participate as I was made to feel at that first meeting.

And I’ve been fired up enough to write up this blog a day later … that doesn’t always happen to me (I’ve been to so many events that have felt exhausting at the end, and which I’ve soon forgotten). Let’s just hope the feedback evidences that lots of others feel the same way.

I’ve also come away with a sense that to break out of old habits and try new approaches, design teams benefit from time for conversations, strong practical administrative support (as was offered by Olivia, co-ordinator of the network, complementing her other skills in planning and co-production practice), and having people around the table with experience of different ways of working. In this way, we can apprentice ourselves to each other.

I think there is also something more fundamental happening with this, and other events I’ve been to recently. And it is about the core values of assets approaches – having integrity, being ourselves, putting relationship and trust building at the centre of everything. I think that alongside creating ‘liberating structures’ for events, it really helps to have people hosting them who don’t scare people, but give permission for everyone there to feel that ‘that could be me up front too’.

In my book, it’s not about paying thousands of pounds for overseas gurus to wow us with their stuff anymore (or at least, only when we are really sure that the insight isn’t available locally). It’s about recognising the genius of what happens when 200 alive people come together and just get on with being real with each other.

And that, for my money, is what community assets approaches to workforce development is all about.

The question now is, how could next year’s event build on what we did this year? I see potential to explore

-      Bringing citizen voices into the planning team from the outset – beginning with a call for expressions of interest to the folk who attended this year’s event - have the balance of the planning group comprised of people from this perspective?;

-      Consider handing the budget for the event to the group, and opportunities for participatory budgeting different elements based on copro values (eg what kind of venue should we invest in? what kind of food? Could social enterprises be more involved?)

-      Invite a college or other to do a carbon impact study of the event and propose climate impact offsetting;

-      Have the luggage labels written up and available for people to browse – use this information to design the next event;

-      Add a little more time to the ‘plan your day’ session to enable the whole conference to get a clearer picture of who is there and where this movement (if that’s a good description) is ‘at’;

-      Build on the mix of workshops and open space;

-      Introduce some participative singing, dance,  or theatre elements;

-      If it seems important to have inputs from ministers and others, to consider inviting them to play a ‘keynote listener’ role (see for example my previous write-up of an event that SWSC supported in the parliament last year where the Permanent Secretary played this role - https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/web/nick.wilding/blog/-/blogs/11632626?_33_redirect=%2Fweb%2Fnick.wilding%2Fblog&_33_urlTitle=skilled-workers-skilled-citizens%3A-november-2013-update)





Report: 3rd National Co-production Conference, 23rd April 2014

Added by samjordan

230414Alliance027.jpgOn April 23rd 2014 the Joint Improvement Team, the Scottish Co-production Network, the ALLIANCE, Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens invited over 200 guests to to the 3rd National Co-production Conference in Scotland.

The event, held in Pollock Halls in Edinburgh, aimed to build upon the progress that co-production has made in the last year, as well as take the next steps in placing co-production at the forefront of how we work. 

We had a great day and were delighted that there were so many people looking to share their experiences and learn from each other. An introduction from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil MSP and Professor Jim McGoldrick, Chair of the Joint Improvement Team partnership board kicked off a day of workshops, open space discussions and exhibits.

We hope you were able to come but if not we've started writing up all the of speeches, workshops and discussions that happened. This will be an continuously updated page and we'll be adding to it bit by bit over the next few days. 

You can visit the page here: http://coproductionscotland.org.uk/events-and-news/news/copro2014/

And don't forget to add your comments, thoughts and ideas by starting a discussion blog! If you have any images or videos you'd like added to the report, please email sam@scdc.org.uk.

Introducing creative practices

Added by Jinglis

Hi, amongst other things I'm studying Design for Services in Dundee. 

As part of this course I am currently exploring the question of how creative practices (especially drawing and modelling, but to a lesser extent music, storytelling or any other creative practice you can think of) can best be introduced when working with people who may be feel less than comfortable about it.

My observation from recent experience is that a majority of people feel comfortable enough with writing on sticky notes but, in contrast, it is only a minority that feel comfortable with drawing and/or modelling their ideas. Sir Ken Robinson might explain this by suggesting people have natural creativity educated out of them by our current system, so it is perhaps not surprising, but can anything be done about it given it might be important if you want to truly co-produce anything? I am also keeping an open mind about why and indeed whether trying to introduce these practices is a good thing. 

I would be interested to hear of any experiences that Network members have in this area. Have you also found it difficult to encourage some people to try more creative practices out? What did you try and what worked? I would also be interested to hear views on the value of getting over any barriers. What happened? For example did people become converts, did it enable anyone to join in who hadn't before, were the ideas developed better or were they implemented more enthusiastically? 

Thanks in advance


Limited spaces left for co-production study visits!

Added by Olivia

As part of the 3rd National Co-production Conference later this month, we’re offering a series of study visits to participants to give them an opportunity to learn more about the co-productive work that is being carried out across the country by our colleagues in the public and voluntary sector.

We can now provide details of these study visits and a chance for you to sign up and gain excellent insights into the work of other organisations. We have five study visits to choose from in various places across Scotland. You can read a little about each organisation and see if the dates and times offered suit you here.

These study visits will run between 22nd April and 1st May and room on them will be extremely limited so get in touch soon! We ask that you reply with your interest by 16th April to give study visit hosts time to prepare.

To register your interest in a study visit please email sam.jordan@scdc.org.uk with:

  • Your name
  • Your organisation
  • Your telephone number and email address
  • Any dietary or access requirements you may have

Once we have this information we will confirm your attendance and let you know further details of the visit.

We’d like to thank all of the people who volunteered their time for these visits and hope you will take advantage of this excellent opportunity!


*Job Alert* Young Scot Co-design Team expanding!

Added by Lisa Murphy

Co-design Assistant

Fixed term to 31st March 2015, Salary: £16,000)

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, creative and dynamic team and is a real opportunity to be involved in making a difference to young people.

Key Responsibilities

  • To assist with project managing Young Scot’s co-design and consultation work, including:
    • Managing relationships with external organisations who are commissioning co-design work and consultations from Young Scot and to act as the main point of contact
    • Working closely with Young Scot’s Outreach team to plan, design and manage accessible co-design and consultation events and activities
    • Analysing the results of co-design and consultation projects
    • Producing project reports
    • Supporting the evaluation of co-design and consultation processes to support continuous improvement and best practice within Young Scot
  • To support the Co-design Manager to identify where co-design and consultation with young people could improve across Young Scot’s products and services
  • To support the Co-design Manager to further develop Young Scot’s co-design offer to external partners and agencies
  • To provide co-design and consultation training to Young Scot staff as required

Interested? Find out more and apply here: http://youngscot.net/contact-us/jobs/co-design-assistant.aspx

Help us shape the Network - Take our survey!

Added by samjordan under General Chat

Dear colleagues,

The Scottish Co-production Network now has over 500 members and our network has been active for over 4 years. We’re really interested in knowing a bit more about our membership to help us shape network activities in the future. Accordingly, we’ve developed a survey to help us gain a better of understanding of who are members are, what work they’re doing and how they think the Network is useful to them.

Take the survey here

The survey should only take about 10 minutes maximum and we ask that you please answer as many questions as possible. Feedback from surveys such as this really does help us in planning the future direction and activity for the Network and gives us a chance to demonstrate the vast breadth of interest in co-production from across the country. The survey will close on Friday 28th March 2014.

Along with our survey, we’re moving closer to the 3rd National Co-production Conference and we’re pulling together the details of the day. We’ve now nearly finalised the event workshops and have made special measures to ensure we can squeeze in as many as possible.  We’ll release more details soon and we think it’s going to be a great event – so don’t forget to register!

We’d like to thank you for taking a moment to contribute to the survey, registering for the conference and helping us shape the Network!

Kind regards,


Register your interest now: Sharing our Strengths, Stretching our Vision

Added by samjordan under General Chat

 We are now unfortunately over-subscribed for this event. COSLA, who are organising the registration for this event, may continue accepting places, and these will now be added to a reserve list.

Register your interest now for the 3rd National Co-production Conference!

On behalf of the Joint Improvement Team, the Scottish Co-production Network, the ALLIANCE, Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens and many others we are delighted to invite you to the 3rd National Co-production Conference on Wednesday 23 April, 2014 at the John McIntyre Centre, Pollock Halls, Edinburgh.

With co-production in action all across Scotland, this year's conference is focused on building upon this great progress - as well as taking the next steps in placing co-production at the forefront of how we work..

At this year's conference we'll be asking:

  • Do we share a common understanding of co-production and what is needed to make it work?
  • Has co-production changed the way we do things in Scotland?
  • How are we sharing our strengths and stretching our vision beyond involvement?
  • How can we ensure co-production is central to Scotland’s future?

After a brilliant response to our survey, we're now busy developing a programme to include a combination of workshops (with examples from around Scotland), a market place, study visits and an open-space where discussion and networking can take place. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed to our surveys and call for submissions - they really have helped shape the day.

You can register your interest in the conference by filling in and returning this form to linda@cosla.gov.uk by 17 March 2014. Your place will be confirmed after Monday, 24 March, when a full programme for the day will be published.

We look forward to seeing you there! And don't forget: #copro2014!

Olivia and Sam

The Scottish Co-production Network

Effective Care or the Elderly - are we focusing on the wrong things?

Added by Pioneer513 under Evaluation & Measuring Impact


Eight years ago, I was tasked with creating  a template that would prevent an elderly lady ever requiring a Nursing Home.She had no relatives, had various disabilities, including profound deafness, but she had been a  Pediatric Consultant - and she knew that if you want something, you have to be specific!
SO, I was asked to plan for 
No Nursing Home - ever.
No Involvement with Social Services.
She wanted to remain at home with her dog -  her dog gave her constant companionship, that she could not always access with people due to her hearing difficulties..

I advertised originally for a cleaner/ companion at the local supermarket, once I had fully understood her needs(Around two years assessment time).
We took up references and Disclosure, and did the first interview in a public place - garden centre or supermarket cafe can be good places to meet potential employees.  It was then made clear that we were not the employers: that the lady herself would make the final decision.

Once all the checks had been passed,  and references taken up, we then escorted the applicant to meet the lady. We stayed for the first part of the interview, and left her for the more personal  second part.
We returned at the end of the interview.

The client was very clear about which candidate was suitable, and the staff in return have remained in position and very loyal for years. If she is having a bad day, for example, they will return at night and either cook her supper, or bring a plated meal.
When she had s second stroke, we needed to repeat the process, but now there was someone in place to do help with the training, etc.
As mobility  became more of a problem, and physical needs increased, we did it again.

The interesting thing is that many of her friends returned, when they saw that they were not going to be held responsible. With her care covered and working well, they started visiting more frequently. her house is always spotless, which is a great comfort to her, now that she vcan no longer do these things herself.
She now has a busier life than she did at one point, when she was almost totally alone.
Powers of attorney are set up - and everyone seems to be able to work together to provide a cohesive service.
Once it was set up, I kept regular contact for a further 2 years, and she knew that she could phone me at any time. 

For this to be effective and empowering,  the initial time has to be put in, where the client learns to trust you. 
It is not hugely demanding on time,  but requires frequent visits - say weekly.
The client has to understand the potential. There can be no  100% guarantee,(obviously), but it provides a goal, and I have no doubt that she is secure in the knowledge that we will have done our best.

 She is now very frail with a failing memory. I visit 6 monthly, and  laugh when I go to the house to see how meticulous her "girls" ( all mature women,  some retired, and grateful for something to do) are with the signage!  However, they will take her anywhere she wants to go: out for lunch - to the shops - to meet friends - to the doctors.
So she is very pleased indeed.

She is now in her 86th year, and remains at home, with the support of this loyal band.

The main tip is: consider these 4 years........
It is not more difficult than people believe, but it takes longer than people assume.

The relationships are crucial and should perhaps be the focal point.  The carer may be excellent, but if there is no relationship, it is a barrier to independence.
It is important to educate those that wish to go down this path to ask early enough to be able to make such relationships