Scottish Borders’ Commitment to Co-production

This blog from Scottish Borders Council outlines their work around co-production and their new guidance available here.

Scottish Borders took the commitment to co-produce one step further by developing a Co-Production guide now available for download free of charge. The guide, ‘An Introduction to Co-production’ was adopted by the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership in June 2016.

Co-production has been happening in the Scottish Borders for many years, through a variety of organisations. However, in 2015 Scottish Borders Council formally recognised the importance of co-production and the role it has in supporting the Council to continue to deliver high quality and improved services in a time of reductions in public sector funding. By adding the development of a corporate approach to co-production to its corporate transformation programme , the Council clearly demonstrated its commitment to involving communities from the outset in the development, design and delivery of services.

Elaine Torrance, Chief Social Work Officer at Scottish Borders Council who led the work said, “We have seen the value, and the benefits, of co-production when planning and delivering services in areas where this approach is already being used. By adopting a Partnership-wide approach to co-production we are seeking to make sure that more of our services are co-produced in the future.”

Recognising the knowledge base that already exists locally, the Council invited a wide range of organisations to participate, forming a multi-agency group, and adopting a co-productive approach to identify guidelines and produce the guide. The wide range of experience that was round the table contributed enormously to the work which helped to complete it in a relatively short timescale.

While developing the guide it became clear to the group that it would be of value across the Community Planning Partnership supporting the Partnership’s Community Engagement Framework and the very ethos of Community Planning.

The end product of this work is the guide ‘An Introduction to Co-production’, which clearly sets out what co-production is, what the benefits are and what it involves. It is also being used to raise awareness about co-production and to support staff to undertake work using a co-productive approach. The document includes good practice case studies from Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Borders Housing Association, the Third Sector and NHS Borders.

‘An Introduction to Co-production’ is available at www.scotborders.gov.uk/coproduction. For more information contact communityengagement@scotborders.gov.uk.