Research & Related Resources

'Doing with, not to: Community Resilience and Co-production'


'Doing with, not to' is the report resulting from research commissioned by NHS Education Scotland and carried out by SCDC into community resilience and co-production. The research revolved around a practice exchange event in May 2011 involving Scottish projects carrying out work in the fields of community resilience and co-production, service providers, policy planners and others interested in sharing information. Participants took part in a story-based exercise which highlighted some of the opportunities, benefits and barriers of co-producing services. Based on the practice exchange, the report explores the connections between community resilience and co-production and also offers helpful definitions for these ideas and other related terms.

SCDC, 2011


Radical Efficiency: Different, better, lower cost public services



Radical Efficiency is about public service innovations that deliver different, much better outcomes for users at significantly lower cost. Radical Efficiency is not about tweaking and improving existing services. It is about generating new perspectives on old problems to enable a genuine paradigm shift in the services on offer - and transform the user experience. This report explains the Radical Efficiency model and showcases the case studies identified throughout the research.

Research Paper by Sarah Gillinson, Matthew Horne and Peter Baeck - NESTA



Redesigning Support for Care Leavers


This is the final report of a project that brought together care leavers in Argyll and Bute with their corporate parents (throughcare and aftercare, social work, health, homelessness and education services), to explore what a co-productive approach could look like in the social work sector.

The project focused upon the social and emotional care of care leavers as they move on from care. Workshops were used to share care leavers’ experiences and develop ideas that respond to the needs expressed by young people. These ideas were prototyped in the workshops and tested and evaluated as part of service provision.

IRISS, (2012) 


Widening Choices for Older People with High Support Needs


Older people with high support needs want greater choice and control over their lives and a wider range of options.

This study identifies the benefits and potential of options based on mutuality (people supporting each other) and / or reciprocity (people contributing to individual and group well-being).

The study found that:

  • Spending time identifying and understanding existing local models and arrangements will help commissioners widen their range of options;
  • Adapting ways of working from other countries, e.g. Denmark, could stimulate further development in the UK;
  • Planning, contracting and procurement rules need to be revised to stimulate the development of different models and ensure smaller-scale, relationship-based services are not damaged; and
  • Communicating the range and benefits of different models to older people, their families, the wider public and frontline staff will raise awareness, increase take up, and drive local developments.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Helen Bowers et al (2013)


Senior Cohousing Communities: An Alternative Approach for the UK?


Is cohousing an option for older people? This paper outlines the benefits of cohousing for older people. It draws on successful cohousing examples from Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands, and outlines the growing movement in the USA.

There aren't yet any successful examples of cohousing in the UK, and this paper outlines its potential at a time when the typical housing ‘menu’ available to older people is still very limited. Support often amounts to domiciliary care (until needs become too intensive), followed by sheltered/extra care housing (if available locally) and/or a place in a care home.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Maria Brenton (2013)


Preparing to Grow Old Together


How can housing co-operatives best support their older residents?  This Viewpoint details Brixton Housing Co-op's (BHC's) experiences of working together to improve member’s chances of staying out of residential care, counteract loneliness in later life and improve support. Key points:

The most significant action BHC members took was to begin talking with others about the issue of ageing and how they might help themselves. It is important to recognise that it is not being older that is a problem but being older in our current society; and that we can work together to make positive changes. We all have something to give, and we all need support of one sort or another. This Viewpoint comes at a time when the typical housing 'menu' available to older people is still very limited. Support often amounts to domiciliary care (until needs become too intensive), followed by sheltered/extra care housing (if available locally) and/or a place in a care home.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Victor Forrest (2013)


Assessing current and future housing and support options for older LGB people


Assessing current and future housing and support options for older LGB people.  This study looks at the how the choice of housing and support for older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people is perceived, and how it could support LGB individuals to have a better life. It looks at the potential of personalisation in improving choice and control, and the importance of LGB people feeling safe to share their identity and life history, particularly for dementia. It found that:

The present choice of mainstream housing and support for older LGB people is currently experienced as inadequate or perceived as unsafe. Older LGB people should be involved with local strategic planning and able to choose from safe ‘mixed’ mainstream and specialist LGB community options; LGB communities have a tradition of mutual self-help, supportive friendship networks and 'chosen families' which need to be understood and nurtured for older LGB people; Younger LGB people prioritise maintaining independence and combating social isolation in older age; and International innovations show how formal, larger housing and support initiatives for older LGB people can grow from and nurture community support and friendship networks.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Carr and Ross (2013)


The Barriers to Choice Review: How are people using choice in public services?


'This review was set up to answer the question: how do people use the choices they have been given in public services? In particular: how much are these choices used and valued by the most disadvantaged?

The review included a call for evidence, a series of round tables around England, a literature review and an extensive survey by Ipsos MORI, the headline findings of which concluded that: Somewhere around half the population are currently choosing, but the difficulties vary between different services. There is strong public support for being able to choose, but still around a third of the population find it difficult. People are generally happy with their service once they get it, even if they had no choice. The biggest barriers are a combination of access and information.'

David Boyle (2013)


Evaluation of Local Housing Strategies Co-production Pilots with Disabled People


The Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, NHS Health Scotland, Independent Living in Scotland (ILiS) and Disabled People’s Organisations identified two local authorities, North Lanarkshire and Argyll and Bute, to take part in a project piloting co-production as a method of working with disabled people to ensure their needs are addressed in their respective local housing strategies (LHS).

Scottish Government Social Research, 2011


Beyond the Usual Suspects: towards inclusive user involvement


This report explores why some groups tend to be left out and how they may be fully and equally included in the future. The report is based on a national research and development project funded by the Department of Health and is part of Shaping Our Lives, which has been piloting more  effective approaches to access and inclusion.

Peter Beresford (2013)


The ALLIANCE think piece on health and social care intergration

alliance.pngThe ALLIANCE has published a think piece on the health and social care integration - titled the "Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill" - which is currently moving through the Scottish Parliament to bring together health and social care to drive better outcomes for the people of Scotland.

The document highlights the importance of the third sector's involvement along with a co-produced approach where the people who use the services can contribute meaningfully to the care that they are involved in.

Based on The Christie Commission report, The ALLIANCE outlines the importance of ensuring that the Bill doesn't treat healthcare professionals the 'experts' and people who use the services as 'recipients' and instead focuses on the assets of both individuals and communities to create more effective services, where the people using it are equal partners.

You can download the PDF here.

Learning from our communitiesPublic involvement in adult health and social care in Scotland

From the Scottish Health Council:

his.pngIn 2012/13, the Scottish Health Council commissioned ODS Consulting to explore future possibilities for public involvement in health and social care in Scotland. This was in the context of planned changes to integrate, or bring together, health and social care services – currently delivered through the National Health Service (NHS) and local authorities. A think piece was produced alongside this research, setting out ideas and prompts for discussion about the future of public involvement in health and social care.

Between June and September 2013, the Scottish Health Council ran four events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Sanquhar to discuss the ideas raised by the research and think piece. These events brought together members of the public, health and social care practitioners, and other interested individuals (for example from the voluntary and community sector). The events were very well attended, with a total of over 200 people attending the sessions.

The paper provides a broad overview of the discussions at the four events. It summarises the key themes and messages emerging.

You can download the report here.

The 21st Century Public Servant

In November 2012 an invited audience of senior public servants and academics joined a round table discussion of the role of public servants and public service in the 21st century.

Helen Dickinson, Director of the Public Service Academy at Birmingham University, introduces the subject and the full summary of the roundtable discussion is available.

You can find more information and download the document here.



Involving Rural Communities in Health and Care Services 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. Co-production is about health service professionals, such as doctors, nurses and managers, working in partnership with individuals and communities. This partnership approach pays attention to the opinions of patients, family members, carers and the wider community and aims to include them in health and care services planning and provision.

You can find out more here.