Co-production & Commissioning - how the people who decide on mental health services can partner with the people who use them
Digital team's blog
On September 22 the Mental Health Promotions Team will be holding a showcase event at Parliament to talk about coproduction in commissioning. But what is co-production, and how can it change mental health services for the better? We tracked down Oliver Outhwaite from the project team tell us more...
So what is co-production in commissioning?
Co-production in commissioning brings together people in the community and commissioners, the people who decide what health services a local area needs. They work together as equal partners to make sure that the services which they bring in really do meet the needs of local people.
Why is it useful in commissioning?
Working like this helps commissioners to develop equal, respectful and productive relationships with those affected by their decisions - the people who use local health services. It is estimated that working co-productively and involving the community can save up to 7% of budgets by ensuring that services are ones that are needed, wanted, and will be used.
In mental health, co-production can have the added benefits of empowering the service users involved to develop their voice and skills, which can often impact positively on their recovery, and lead to other changes in their lives. Commissioners (also known as Clinical Commissioning Groups, or CCGs) are obliged to involve local communities in health and social care service plans and co-production is a great way of making sure this happens.
In the video, Jacqui, a commissioner, talks about why she thinks co-production is a great way to work.
What is the background of the project?
Since 2012, Rethink Mental Illness have been funded by the Department of Health to try out different ways of bringing co-production into the commissioning of mental health services. We have worked with different groups, including young people with experience of the care system, out of hours services for young people and mental health services provided within young people’s services. By doing this we’ve built up a toolkit to help commissioners work in this new way, creating mental health services in partnership with people who use them.
So how are you spreading the word?
We're working hard to make sure as many commissioners as possible know about the benefits of co-production, and how they can use it to commission mental health services in their area. We are currently funded until 30 September to support a limited number of CCGs to get started. We will also share our co-production toolkit and work with commissioners to design an initial action plan. We will also be holding an event on 22 September to showcase the Rethink Mental Illness model of co-production and share what we've learnt from our pilot projects.
I’m a commissioner, tell me more about the event
The aim of this event is to share learning nationally from our four pilots which have taken place in the London boroughs of Kingston and the tri-borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. We will be showcasing the Rethink Mental Illness model of co-production in commissioning to senior commissioners and national policy makers. We will be looking to:
• encourage CCGs to adopt principles of co-production in their work or commission co-production projects
• encourage policy makers to adopt principles of co-production in national policy and strategy
• provide the opportunity for attendees to share examples of excellent practice.
Attendees will be able to ask questions about co-production and our model and meet the ‘champions’ we worked with during our pilots. We will also share resources on how to start your journey into co-production.
I'm a commissioner, and I'm ready to find out more
If you are interested in our support, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rethink.org/coproduction for further details. Please note this service is only available until the end of September on a first come first serve basis. The event on the 22nd is by invitation only and has a very limited number of spaces. Please contact us at email@example.com to express interest in attending and briefly describing your role within commissioning, mental health services or national health policy/strategy.