Top Tips from our Experience
This was developed by members of our community and health and care professionals working together to establish a framework for working together successfully (Cumbria Way Co-production Toolkit 2018)
Learning – If you need to use a laptop or take a call please explain that at the start of the meeting.
Learning – If papers are late explain why and is there a way that the workload can be shared to make it easier for everyone to get access in a more timely manner.
Learning – Everyone’s views should be valued and people encouraged to share their ideas.
Learning – Co-production is about working together, not just scrutinising progress.
This will come down to trial and error and may need to change depending on your group and the activity for the session.
We moved to a round table discussion style where everyone can see everyone and no one is at the top table. It usually worked, but in some circumstances added to a sense of confrontation and felt very formal.
Workshop style tables help keep people relaxed and allow for smaller discussions more easily.
Ask at the beginning of your first meeting and occasionally afterwards if people would be happier if the badges were on or off.
Start every meeting with a round the room introduction (even if you think everyone knows everyone else) to remind people who may be struggling to put a name to a face.
Learning – Need to leave personal issues at the door as the process is about services and systems
How will we know co-production has had an impact?
- We set a realistic goal – x has been achieved.
- We set a mood goal – x will feel.
We also wanted to measure more about how people felt:
- We did a survey 3 months in to be repeated 6 and 12 months on
One was to put helpful information as part of the agenda on a screen during meetings so everyone can see it – this includes a reminder at the start of steering group meetings about:
- why we are all involved
- how we have agreed to work
- it offers people the chance to challenge if they feel we aren’t working on the way we agreed we would.
This should be pointed out and discussed in the spirit of doing it better next time – not in a way that blames.
We may have different motivations, responsibilities, pressures but we are all human and are doing our best.