Lancashire County Council

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Lancashire County Council adopted the Working Together for Change approach to co-producing commissioning in 2009.

Working Together for Change is an approach that has eight steps to using information from person centred reviews to introduce co-production into commissioning. During the Working Together for Change process, commissioners, people using services, carers and families work together. They identify common themes in the information gathered by person-centred reviews. They use these themes to identify what is working and what isn't and to suggest ways to do things differently.

In Lancashire, this approach has been used in commissioning across the county in children's services and public health as well as adult social care. The council has developed a toolkit for commissioners using the approach for reviews of services and they have also developed a training programme to support people to use the toolkit.

One commissioner described the approach as "the golden thread between what people say they want and what we commission as a result". 

The eight steps of Working Together for Change:

  1. Prepare - agree, how, when and where you want to use Working Together for Change and who needs to be involved. Make sure that people have had a recent person-centred review or a review that focuses on outcomes.
  2. Collect - Gather the information from reviews - what are the two top things that are working and not working for each person, and what do they want for the future?
  3. Theme - Work with a range of stakeholders , including people with care and support needs, to notice themes in the information from reviews and give each theme an 'I' statement.
  4. Understand - Work together to understand the deep causes of what is not working for people and agree which are the most important ones to address.
  5. Identify success - identify what success would look like if the deep causes of what is not working for people were changed. Agree statements that explain what success looks like from different people's points of view.
  6. Plan - look at what is happening already to move towards success, think together about a range of other ways to make change and agree which ideas to turn into action plans.
  7. Implement - identify where you are now (baseline) and how else you will know you have been successful (indicators). Share this information and start to put action plans into practice.
  8. Review - check progress using the standards that you have agreed to check what success looks like and write Working Together for Change report. Explain about the progress and next steps to all involved and other people interested in the changes.