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Your spotlight on local services

More than 70 residents share ideas for coproduction of local services

18/07/2017

More than 70 residents attended a successful People as Partners: Coproduction Conference on 6 July to create a Coproduction Charter for health and care services in City and Hackney.

Coproduction is when public services are designed or reshaped with the people who use them as equal partners, to create better services.

Pete Fleichmann, Head of Coproduction at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) said coproduction builds on public and patient involvement but is different because it involves people from the start and treats them as equally valued assets. Coproduction brings better outcomes so is essential not a luxury. Making it work isn’t easy as it involves cultural change and pro-actively addressing barriers to access and equality.

‘The behaviour of coproduction has to be modelled right from the top and all the way through an organisation,’ he said.

Hackney service user and advocate Elspeth Williams highlighted that coproduction is important because it recognises people’s talents. ‘No matter how small a contribution you’re making, everyone has something to give in coproduction,’ she said.

Simon Galczynski, Director of Adult Services, London Borough of Hackney said the council isn’t fully there with coproduction but is committed to trying different ways of working. It has also set up a user and carer group, Making it Real, to represent user voice in Hackney.  ‘People told us they want to be involved from the start in planning services. The voice of service users and carers is essential to everything we do,’ he said. 

Pete and Simon agreed coproduction can’t be done on a shoestring and works better if there is a dedicated budget. This is difficult in the current environment of funding cuts, however they said the cost of coproduction is minute compared to council and health spend in other areas. 

Participants also drew out learning from local and national examples of coproduction and patient involvement including the Hackney Autism Alliance, Hackney Independent Forum for Parents/Carers of Children with Disabilities (HiP), Patient User Experience Group (PUEG), Young Peoples Stop and Search Monitoring Group, Hackney Play Streets and Our Place. The room then fed back on the rights and ways of working they expect for the coproduction of services locally.

Healthwatch is now drafting a conference report and Coproduction Charter based on feedback. Local health and care organisations will be expected to sign up to the charter as part of the integrated commissioning programme that is bringing together health, social care and public health.

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