The power of co-production

Published: 10/01/2024

Author: Research in Practice

What steps can we take to better share power with those who draw on social care? A new Evidence Review and podcast seek to outline the changes that are needed to make life more equal.

The resources have been co-produced by Research in Practice and Social Care Future. Co-production involves collaboration between professionals and people with lived experience to design, deliver and ultimately improve social care support. 

Talking about co-production and evidence

In a new podcast, Jeanette Sutton talks to Anna Severwright about co-production. They explore the concept, what it looks and feels like in practice, plus provide advice for others looking to work in co-productive ways.

I read a lot of reports all written to high standards, but they don’t relate to people. More importantly, what’s the point, what’s the outcome, and did we learn or improve anything?

Evidence Review participant

Co-production is one of the key principles involved in supporting outcomes focused, person-centred approaches to social care. The Evidence Review is grounded in and shaped by the experiences, knowledge and preferences of the people involved.

The context

Research in Practice Evidence Reviews aim to be comprehensive. Previous evidence reviews, such as Ageing well and Working with complexity have used recognised experts in the field to write chapters. For this review, groups of people with different experiences worked together to discuss issues that are important to them.

People brought many different experiences to the discussions - group members included disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, older people, people who had experienced mental health challenges, and people with current or past caring roles.

Throughout, you’ll find direct quotes from group members and video material that will give you a real flavour of the discussions. By responding to events and discussing current concerns alongside the research, the groups felt that this project would accurately represent the changes and struggles that were impacting on people’s lives.

The five key changes

The review is structured around Social Care Future’s five key changes needed in social care to unlock an equal life: communities where everyone belongs; living in the place we call home; leading the lives we want to livemore resources, better used; and sharing power as equals.

Each section contains resources, research and commentary that explores and supports a key change alongside action and reflective points that aim to make a real impact.

Sharing your changes

Everyone is encouraged to find action points in the review that are relevant to them and consider how they can be achieved. Think about how these actions will have a direct impact on the lives of the people you work with. If you are someone who draws on social care yourself, please share this resource with any workers you know.

Research in Practice would like to hear from those who use the Evidence Review. In the spirit of co-production, you could contact us jointly with someone with care and support needs. We would be keen to feature your stories in podcasts and blogs.

A brighter social care future: co-producing the evidence to make five key changes

This Evidence Review brought together groups of people, with different lived experiences of social care, to talk about five key changes needed in social care in order to unlock an equal life.
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