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What do we mean by co-production?

In Adult Social Services, the Think Local, Act Personal Ladder of Co-Production is our guide to all our engagement activity.

Whatever activity we undertake, we always embody the following principles:

  • Honesty and openness
  • Not to over-promise what we are able to do
  • Ask ourselves “How would this feel if it were me?”
  • Cut out the jargon

The Ladder of Co-Production

The ladder describes a series of steps towards co-production. You can use this in strategic commissioning across health and social care.

It supports greater understanding of the various stages of access and inclusion before you achieve full co-production.

Except for Coercion, all the steps could play a role in what we try to do. 

The seven steps of the Ladder

Step 1: Coercion

This is the bottom rung of the ladder. People attend an event about services as passive recipients. Their views are not considered important and are not taken into account.

Step 2: Educating

Service providers help those who use their services understand their design and delivery. This is so they gain relevant knowledge about it.

Step 3: Informing

The people responsible for services tell people about them and explain how they work. This may include telling people what decisions they have made and why.

Step 4: Consultation

Service providers ask service users to fill in surveys or attend meetings. But service users may think this step is a token gesture if they do not have the power to influence or affect change.

Step 5: Engagement

Compared to the previous step, service users get more opportunities to give their views. They may also be able to influence some decisions. But this depends on what the service providers will allow.

Step 6: Co-design

Service users help design those services, based on their experiences and ideas. They have genuine influence but are not involved in ‘seeing it through’.

Step 7: Co-production

Co-production is an equal relationship between service providers and users. They work together from design to delivery. They share decision-making about policies and the best way to deliver services.

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