For Professionals

When it comes to what “good” looks like for patients and service users, those on the experiential end of mental health care are the best qualified to advise. Whether you want a chat about how to involve service users in your project, or hook up with a lived experience thinking partner to work through an idea, or you really want to make sure co-production is well embedded in your work, we can help. Still need convincing? Scroll down for some of our feedback!

What is co-production?

“Service User Involvement” or PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) has been shown to improve services, be cost-effective and result in better outcomes. Due to this evidence base it has been a statutory duty on certain public bodies to engage with their service user for many years now. We have evolved up the ladder from patients simply being told and “done to”, through the “involvement” stage of consultation and engagement, and arrived now at the level of co-design and co-production. The greater the involvement the better!

Co-production is not just the latest buzz-word. It may not always be possible to have full co-production, but it is important to be clear about what the offer is. The ladder above might help you to identify if an involvement opportunity is co-production or just consultation. Do make sure you do not use the “C” word inappropriately! That would be the sin of Faux-production.

The Parable of the Blobs and Squares

Think Local Act Personal

Coproduction Oxforshire

CoProNet Wales


“Coproduction has been fundamentally important to the development of peer coaching services in the Trust.  Service user representatives have inspired us to aim high with a personalised and flexible approach to supporting others.  They not only provided direct ideas about what peer working roles could do but how the service can operate well in relation to other systems.  They continue to provide inspiration and support to adjust our documents and methods plus recruit new workers into our team.  In short service user reps have been key in all elements of service development and as a result we work in a style that is high quality.”

– Cerdic Hall, Nurse Consultant, Primary Care

“Service user involvement gives you a level of detail which would be hard to tap into without this input. An example is that we had a service user with us in the room when we were doing some process mapping for our service development – their input was fresh, immediate and based on their actual experience of being in an A&E department – the staff really listened and took notice, it meant we were able to cut through a lot of  the task more quickly as we could get to the heart of the issue from the outset.”

Debbie May, Senior Service Manager – Community Acute Crisis Services, Place of Safety, Mental Health Liaison, MHCAS and Acute Day Unit

“Service user cofacilitation, involvement and co-production changed my attitude as a practitioner to the purpose of my role and our work in the caring profession. Without insights and involvement, I would never have understood how my work and interventions might be perceived, and also how reactions and responses from users of services, could be understood. My best work has happened during a co-production approach.”

Dr Farha Choudhary, Practitioner Psychologist – Lead of the Psychologically Informed Consultation & Training (PICT) Service, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

“I have been luckily enough through out my career to always work alongside service users setting up projects. It has always made services dynamic and added compassion to services . At present I work at the Hive, a 16-25 mental health Wellbeing service. The service started with a board of young people designing the service, what the building looked like , what evaluation should be used etc. This philosophy has continued. young people are used in all staff interviews, their opinion is sought in how we are doing every 3 months, young people designed the Expected Behaviour Policy at our service. I cannot imagine not working alongside the people who use our service, it always adds to quality, it makes the service a happier environment  and keeps the service-learning environment .”

Katie Clayton, Clinical Team Lead (Camden and Islington Trust), The Hive

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