Co-Production Week 2024


Co-Production Week logo“Co-Production Week is an annual awareness campaign to recognise the benefits of working in equal partnership with people using social care and health provision. The week will highlight the power of co-production to design and develop better ways of doing things in Health and Social Care.

Co-production places people with lived experience at the heart of decision-making processes – and at Spectrum, we apply these principles to how we work with our patients and our workforce. Embedding principles of co-production and trauma-informed thinking is, in many ways, a culture change which requires time. Time that is the most precious currency in today’s landscape of health and social care. But, doing things together with people with lived and learnt experience makes for better and more sustainable outcomes for all.

Here at Spectrum, we have co-produced a diabetes awareness animation (seen below) with our patients who reside in prisons, we are co-producing a new format for our patient feedback forms, and we have co-produced a new model of working together. We are establishing our own volunteering group and will soon be recruiting volunteers with lived experience, to work with us on making our services and processes continuously better for our patients and staff. We are also focusing on becoming an even more lived experience-inclusive employer. Our Experience, Communications and Human Resources teams work together to engage with our Staff Networks, Staff Council and all staffing groups. We run Equality, Diversity and Inclusion campaigns, bringing blogs from our colleagues with lived experience on matters that are important to all of us. We have been changing how we review our workforce-related policies, to make the process co-productive and ensure the language is trauma-informed.

NHSE Model Of Co-Production

And this is just a short summary, because this list keeps getting bigger and bigger. If you are not sure where to start, start by working together with people who the project is about. Find your experts, experts by experience both lived and learnt.”

– Agnes, Spectrum’s Head of Experience & Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

Our Chief Executive Dr Linda believes in the power of co-production:

“For me, it is synonymous with collaboration – whether that be with our patients, colleagues, or the families and loved ones of our patients. It’s working together as a collective asset to shape healthcare services, policies, and decisions.

Co-production matters and here’s why I believe this to be so. Evidence tells us that when we co-produce with the right people and involve patients and staff in decision-making, we empower individuals and improve their experience of care – what follows is people then feel respected and valued.

We know with our most vulnerable and traumatised patients that when we use gestures and accompanying language of respect, it leads to better relationships with our patients and better health outcomes follow. Trauma-informed language naturally avoids stigmatisation and validates peoples’ experiences.

All of this dovetails with Spectrum’s commitment to the lived experience voice and how lived experience matters. Co-production, when done well, naturally emphasises lived experience.”

Adam, our Head of Healthcare at HMP Haverigg, is equally passionate:

“Co-production is important as it ensure everyone works together to achieve the best possible outcome, Why is this important? We may work within a prison and a secure environment, but this is also a person’s home, albeit not by choice. Our patients experience, on a daily basis, a lack of control from their environment to decisions that we take for granted. Our patients are the ones we are delivering a service to and they become frustrated when things do not go right. The simple things, such as having medication ready and what day the medication can be picked up, is sometimes the only thing that is in our patients’ control.

A service can always be continuity improved and this will not happen without feedback from our patients – sometimes what we think we are getting right, we are not. We can choose what dentist we see, what doctor we see, what hospital we attend… but our patients cannot do this. Understanding the frustrations of our patients enables us to understand and empathise with our patients in a very difficult environment. Having patient feedback gives them some sense of community and the feeling of being listened to, which is sometimes a new experience within the secure setting.

Meeting with patients reassures them that they are being heard and respected. During these conversations, other issues can arise and a solution can be found. This improves a service towards our patients and ensure a better standard of care for all. Patients make suggestions and as staff, we act upon those suggestions to make change and deliver a cohesive service together. Without feedback, we cannot change and cannot develop forward.”

Introducing Spectrum’s New Patient Experience & Co-Production Facilitator:

“Hi everyone, I’m Kelly! I am delighted to join Spectrum, starting in May 2024. I bring with me a decade of experience in the fertility industry – where I specialised in patient experience, particularly, emotional support. Before that, my previous career was in teaching, where I was Head of Year and taught Geography for 16 years. I am passionate about improving healthcare services for vulnerable people and am highly committed to working within the co-production space. I believe in the value of collaborating with patients and stakeholders to enhance our services, and I am excited to be part of the Spectrum family.”


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