Throughout October in CLIC we are shining a spotlight on improvement – helping you learn and connect with others across health and care to make a difference.

This week we're focusing in particular on co-production, and how working in partnership with the people who use our services ensures we get the very best out of our improvement work...


Co-Production Case Study Workshop: The Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project

Date: 1st December 2021

Time: 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM

Venue: Online

In this 45 minute virtual workshop Julie Clayton, Head of Communications and Engagement, NHS North Cumbria CCG will introduce The Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project. You will hear how a range of organisations, groups and individuals came together to help reduce the number of people who end up in hospital after a stroke.

Book you place here...


Improvement Story: Co-Producing the LeDeR Annual Report

In this video we hear from Kate Holliday (Deputy Local Area Contact for the LeDeR Programme, NHS North Cumbria CCG), Cathy Mellstrom (Team Leader for Self-Advocacy Work, People First), and Lou Townson (Co-Chair of the LeDeR Confirm & Challenge Group / Trustee of People First). 

They describe the work that went into co-producing the 2020/21 LeDeR Annual Report, as well as the importance of involving people with lived experience when we want to make improvements and ultimately achieve high quality outcomes.

If you would like to know more about the LeDeR Programme and Annual Report, please contact Kate Holliday: 


A co-production success story: The LINK service for children and young people

More than 296 young people struggling with their emotional wellbeing have been helped by a new service designed by their peers.

The LINK service offers a ‘non-medical’ solution that provides a holistic approach to managing some of the issues young people face today – many of which have been heightened by the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worries and anxiety about isolation, identity, school, exams, and parents and carers working on the frontline have all increased over the last 18 months.

The service is a collaboration between Barnardo’s and several local Primary Care Networks (PCNs), which are groups of GP Practices working together. 

You can read the full article here... 


Co-Production - The benefits of working in equal partnership with the people who use our services

What is co-production?

Co-production is a way of working that involves people who use health and care services, carers and communities in equal partnership.

It engages groups of people at the earliest stages of service design, development and evaluation. Co-production helps to ground discussions in reality, and to maintain a person-centred perspective.

Why should we co-produce?

Local people often have ideas and solutions that would work better for their communities. Taking part can increase people’s confidence and self-worth. It also enables and empowers people to have ‘ownership’ of their local services and gives them a sense of purpose. 

As an organisation, it builds greater understanding of local health services and connects you to the community. 

The graph below shows the benefits of co-production when looking to improve and transform a service:

  • The red line, Stabilisation, is what happens when there is no focus on change of any kind
  • Transformation only, the gains tend to fade. Changes are implemented and make a difference but over time enthusiasm wanes, someone moves to another job and the change is not fully sustained, some gain is maintained but not all and then another bright idea comes along and the change trend is repeated
  • Improvement only, when small PDSA style change takes place routinely across the system consistently by staff. Progress is steady and always upwards towards improved quality but relatively slow for the pace of our system
  • Improvement and transformation, when the two previous methods are combined then change can happen more quickly and continuously in an upward trajectory
  • When we include co-production and involve those who use our services then improvement happens even quicker and quality is greater

So, where do I start?

Below are some suggestions of where to start co-producing:

  • Talk to your patients – this can be informally, even in the waiting room!
  • Contact colleagues who are involved in working with people and communities, and start to map community groups, people with expertise, community leaders e.g. local councillors, voluntary organisations, local authority neighbourhood panels and community development teams, etc.
  • Identify places to make connections where people meet already, e.g. community cafes, live at home schemes, libraries, community meeting places, food hubs, pubs, places of worship, farmers markets etc.
  • Connect with local engagement leads
  • Contact your local Healthwatch – find their details at:

Useful principles

Below are some useful principles, to help guide you when looking at co-producing:

  • Get the community involved as soon as possible and maintain an ongoing conversation
  • Build on what already exists such as patient groups that are already established, community meetings already in place and use feedback from current surveys
  • Use community spaces such as community centres, libraries, community cafes, which are often more accessible and inclusive
  • Be open and honest with people, including the ‘tricky issues’
  • Value people’s time and input and ask what support they need
  • Focus on ‘doing things together’ – not just a tick box exercise
  • Listen more, broadcast less
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms
  • Involvement is messy and organic – develop it with people
  • Forethought not an afterthought!

To find out more about co-production, please visit our Co-Production Toolkit at: