The Care Act's statutory guidance (opens new window) says that co-production is:
'When an individual influences the support and services received, or when groups of people get together to influence the way that services are designed, commissioned and delivered'.
Co-production features in several parts of the guidance in particular, including when talking about:
"In developing and delivering preventative approaches to care and support, local authorities should ensure that individuals are not seen as passive recipients of support services, but are able to design care and support based around achievement of their goals. Local authorities should actively promote participation in providing interventions that are co-produced with individuals, families, friends, carers and the community." (See Coproducing an outcomes framework)
Putting together plans for universal information and advice:
"Adopting a 'co-production' approach to their plan, involving user groups and people themselves, other appropriate statutory, commercial and voluntary sector service providers, and make public the plan once finalised". (See Kirklees and Kent)
"Local authorities should pursue the principle that market shaping and commissioning should be shared endeavours, with commissioners working alongside people with care and support needs, carers, family members, care providers, representatives of care workers, relevant voluntary, user and other support organisations and the public to find shared and agreed solutions". (See Manchester Market Position Statement & Market Position Statement)
And Strengths-based approaches:
"Strengths-based approaches might include co-production of services with people who are receiving care and support to foster mutual support networks. Encouraging people to use their gifts and strengths in a community setting could involve developing residents' groups and appropriate training to support people in developing their skills."
Putting the Act into practice with its main principles, such as wellbeing, prevention and a strong focus on outcomes, will require considering the important role that co-production can play:
- Co-production and wellbeing. A recent review of the literature (opens new window) on co-production in mental health found that improved wellbeing was often stated as one of the good things that happened to people because of services and support being co-produced.
- Co-production and prevention. A recent report by the New Economics Foundation (opens new window) shows that by building up people's skills, capacities and social networks, co-production can prevent people's needs increasing leading to more acute and costly services.
- Co-production and outcomes. Co-production provides a way to understand the outcomes that matter to people using services and their carers.