Co-Production: Working with our Communities

Co-Production is Working Together...

A co-production definition: 

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. It is also a great opportunity to meet others who have the same passion and want to make a difference.

As an organisation, it builds greater understanding of local health services and connects you to the community. This provides us with a better understanding of lived experiences of the people who use our services. It also provides us with an opportunity to think differently and challenge current ways of working. By taking a collaborative approach, we can learn from others and provide more responsive, relevant, and useful services.

So, where do I start?

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

    • Talk to your patients/service users – this can be informally, even in the waiting room! Open up a conversation
    • 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

To find out more about co-production,
please visit the:

To book onto one of our 'Working with Communities for Better Health and Care' sessions, please visit:

Our top ten tips!

  • 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!


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