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Embedding co-production in adult social care – how do we get to the top of the ladder?

Alumni Webinar 21st November 2023

Our recent Alumni Webinar was attended by members of the IPC Commissioning Certificate Alumni Network who shared their experiences of working with local people and communities within their commissioning roles.

We were joined by guest speakers Dan, an expert by experience and the co-chair of Swindon Borough Council’s Learning Disability Partnership and Anneliese Baker, Swindon Borough Council’s People and Partnership Lead. Our speakers considered the different approaches to working with local people and communities - with co-production at the top of the participation ladder - where local people are seen as collaborative partners and hold equal decision making power for how care and support is commissioned.

When participants were asked to describe co-production in one word, this is what they said:

  • Collaboration
  • Partnership
  • Equality

Dan provided excellent insights, advice and tips, into his experiences of working in partnership with local Council services. This included:

  • building relationships with Council staff
  • having a contact to receive support and reassurance when required
  • being flexible and making it easy for many people to get involved
  • and always informing people what you've done with their input.

Key messages from the presentations and group discussions included:

"There is a clear difference between consulting and co-producing with people. We are very good at consulting, but have a way to go before we reach genuine co-production."

"Resourcing co-production is vital – it needs staff, venues and money to get this right. As such, we need to ensure we plan for co-production thoroughly and make a case for why it is so important."

"Co-production is not an easy ‘quick win’ – it takes time and resource to get this right. But when this is planned for – the value of co-production is incredible."

"We need to ensure we consider how we hear from as many people as possible – are there any voices we are not hearing, and why is this? How can we make it easier or more attractive to work with us?"

"Offering choice in engagement is important – some people may not want to co-produce or become an expert by experience, but still want an opportunity to have their voice heard."

"Peers by experience are invaluable – helps to remove the potential power imbalance."

If you would like to know how IPC can support your organisation with co-production then please contact Fiona Richardson.

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