Co-production – what’s missing?

It’s the end of Co-production Week 2024, and Riverside, along with many other organisations have been celebrating all things Co-production, and looking at “What’s Missing”?

If you’d asked me two and a half years ago, I would have been able to give you a list as long as my arm. I gave a brief rundown at the beginning of the week, which can be viewed below, updating you on our progress with the project.

We now have a strong, cohesive, dedicated approach to Co-production across all our Care and Support services. With our recent merger with One Housing Group, this is stronger than ever before.

Our co-production training still proves to be very popular, and we are now extending this to partner agencies as requested. There is a clear positive correlation between teams and customers who have completed the training, and co-production happening at the service. The training includes clarification of language and terms used when talking about customer involvement and co-production, how it applies in a supported housing environment, what opportunities can and should be made available, and our regulatory responsibilities.

Training, consistent use of terms surrounding Co-production and how this translates in different settings

All our care and support services hold co-produced Co-production Charters, committing to how customers can influence service design and delivery, what kind of support is needed to do this in an inclusive, accessible way, and named trusted colleagues who can support as needed.

Recording and evidencing Co-production in Riverside is easier than ever, due to our simple tracker which local colleagues can record any type of social event, co-produced local policy and procedures, recruitment exercises, and more. This information is used in our regulatory exercises, retention and acquirement of new support contracts, commissioner reporting and quality assurance.

Measuring Co-production – Co-production often produces soft outcomes, and is hard to measure consistently across organisations to compare performance

I’m proud to say that our care and support colleagues work extremely hard to ensure this project is successful, and new, co-produced pieces of work and otherwise come about every day. Our colleagues provide dedicated support to ensure customers can access opportunities to design and deliver their services, often using tools such as google translate or language line, accessible technology, and their time, alongside all the other things they do every day and night. Co-production is time-expensive when done right, and time in Care & Support services is at a premium.

Dedicated roles to Customer Engagement/Co-production

So, what’s our plan for the future?

We’re currently undertaking a review of our Customer Involvement and Co-production (Care & Support specific) procedure, to provide further clarity and guidance as to our Co-production offer in local schemes. This will combine the influence of customers, commissioners and colleagues in services and will provide some groundwork for our Care and Support Strategy 23-26.

We would like to expand our offer to ensure that Care & Support customers have influence at a national level, and accounts for the diversity of length of time with Riverside, individual needs and accessibility.

All this to come and more, I look forward to sharing our progress with you in the future.