Roger Rowett attended the recent (29/1/14) Coproduction Implementation Group meeting in Cardiff led by the CMO Ruth Hussey. This was an exciting day that explored how the principles of Coproduction could be developed and extended with Health (and beyond).
Ruth started by asking why this workshop about co-production was taking place. It is partly because the Minister has asked for it, including the suggestion to set up an Implementation Group. But rather than just do that, this event is part of first taking wider advice, thinking through the issues with others and in a spirit of co-production determining how best government can play a role. The topic also chimes with Ruth’s interest in health inequalities, the principles of Health for All, the concept of community participation and so on going back over many years. The evidence base for the health benefits of people being in control of their lives, concentrating on assets and strengths in communities etc is also now overwhelming.
The Welsh Government is taking a new interest in this partly due to the Williams report on public services in Wales: resources are limited, effectiveness is patchy, services need to be more holistic and developed with communities. How can we help people live their lives? “Co-production” is woven into many speeches. But it is different from partnership working and consultation. It is about power. There is a lot to unpack in order to see that this really is a bit different from what is happening already. The Social Services Bill, citizens panels, and other interesting work is in progress to find ways in which government can adapt what it does in order to build on these principles.