This afternoon the Department of Health has launched their new Co-production guide. In our blog this week Chief Nursing Officer, Charlotte McArdle tells us the importance of this document and what it means for our Health and Social Care services.
To meet the challenges of a 21st century population, we need to be ambitious in how we plan to transform our Health and Social Care services to meet the needs of our population, in a safe and sustainable way, so they can enjoy long, healthy, active lives and to enable those with long term and life limiting conditions to live as well as possible.
In order to make this happen, HSC services across Northern Ireland need to start working hand-in-hand with patients, clients, carers, communities and staff so that we all have an opportunity to shape current and future services. There’s a term for this type of collaborative working, it’s called ‘co-production’. Co-production is not just a word, it is not just a concept, it is a genuine partnership approach which brings people together to find shared solutions. It places people at the centre of decision making and aims to connect people together in representative networks so that they can meaningfully influence, shape and participate as real partners in the commissioning, planning, delivery and evaluation of services.
To support this important work the Department of Health formally launched our ‘Co-production guide’ this afternoon. The guide sets out how our health and social care services can meaningfully work together with the people that use them, and the staff that provide them, to effect real and positive change. It requires all HSC organisations to review the extent of partnership working across their services and develop an integrated plan in order to strengthen co-production between people who use services, staff, their representatives, local communities and multi-agency partners.
Of course, colleagues from across Health and Social Care have already been ‘co-producing’ for some time now, with positive outcomes. It is hoped that with the clear guidance set out in our Co-production guide that, going forward, transformational change can be achieved to continue to bring our HSC services in line with modern requirements.
You can read a copy of the co-production guide here.
Have you been involved in co-production before? What do you think of the co-production guide? Do you think you’ll have better opportunities to get involved in decision making going forward? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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