Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland
Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

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Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

2.9 Co-production in practice

There is increasing interest in the benefits of co-production , and the recognition of its central role in developing personalised services. The next activity gives you a chance to find out more about co-production in practice.

Activity 2.7: Co-production in action

Timing: (Allow about 30 minutes)

This activity invites you to explore some examples of co-production in Scotland and the rest of the UK. The examples listed below only give you a taste of what is possible – you may know of other projects and initiatives in your community or local area that are based on the principles of co-production, and you might choose to explore these instead.

Explore one or more of the projects/services below:

Children and families
  • Redesigning support for care leavers in Scotland [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] : This project, jointly organised by IRISS, Argyll and Bute Council, SNOOK and the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF), explores the use of co-productive methods to collaboratively design and improve leaving care services.
  • Family Nurse Partnership : A strengths-based preventative programme in Scotland for young first time mothers which focuses on the mother's motivation to do the best for her child/children.

  • Children's Parliament : Gives children opportunities to voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings so that their concerns and opinions are heard and can influence our social and political landscape.

  • Senior co-housing communities : Co-housing is a form of group living in which housing is run and controlled entirely by members of the group working together, it is based on mutual support, self-governance and active participation. This Joseph Rowntree Foundation report (Benton, 2013) examines the notion of co-housing and assesses its potential in the UK.
  • Key Ring 's accommodation support is based on people living in their own homes but sharing their skills and talents with each other and with their communities. It is based in England and Wales and has a sister organisation in Scotland, Neighbourhood Networks .
Children and adults

Now, referring back to the components of co-production , use your learning log to answer the following question: which of these components can you identify in the example of co-production you read about?


The components that stand out in the example you have chosen will probably be expressed in a range of different ways. For example, the 'Re-designing Support for Care Leavers' project was about responding effectively to the social and emotional needs of care leavers as they move on from local authority care. You will have seen examples of all the components of co-production . In particular, there was a recognition of these young people as assets to service improvement, and movement towards a reciprocal and mutually respectful relationship between young people and service providers. However, there were also challenges for the young people, as well as for the service providers. For example, the report described how it was difficult for young people to attend daytime meetings because they were at school or in employment. Young people were also not paid for their contribution to designing services, in contrast to professionals involved in the project.

Co-production also has its limitations: while everyone has a contribution to make to health, social care and other services, not everyone will want, or be able, to co-produce. You may also have thought about ways in which co-production may challenge existing ways of delivering services, and the power of professional ‘experts’. We need more evidence about the outcomes and costs of co-production, and greater clarity about how it relates to other ways of offering services and developing community capacity. Some of these challenges are now explored in more detail.


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