? Ask a question Ask a question

Working in co-production

Working together allows Suffolk County Council to share the work of the Strategy and to work together to implement positive change for people we support.

Co-production image

Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Co-production panel

Suffolk’s definition of co-production is as follows:

Co-production is people, carers and professionals working together as equal partners to: design, develop, commission, deliver and review services, information and advice.

Working Groups

The Learning Disability Partnership is committed to working in co-production. Through the Board, members work to spread the culture of co-production, supporting projects and teams across health & social care services in Suffolk. Some of the current Working Groups are listed below:

  • Website Working Group

The Website Working Group works together to co-produce content and updates to this site. Each member brings their own expertise and skills to the group. We work together to discuss content, look at changes and plan how we market and develop the website.

  • Information and Communication Working Group: looking at the Online Provider Directory
  • Housing Working Group: looking at Suffolk County Council housing pathways and models

Co-production in statutory services

NSFT staff, along with other interested stakeholders are developing a ‘co-production panel’, which will support areas of the organisation to better work together, offering advice and guidance to teams and projects.

Co-production within Suffolk County Council, Adult & Community Services

The ACS Learning Disabilities and Mental Health team are committed to work in co-production. The Learning Disability Partnership & Partnership Board is a vital mechanism to facilitate meaningful co-production on the implementation of the Joint Learning Disability Strategy 2015-20.

Partnership co-production meetings

The Partnership connects with people through Suffolk People First events. These are meetings held 4 times a year and are a place where people can:

  • Speak up about any aspect of life
  • Hear about the latest work of the Partnership & the Learning Disability Strategy
  • Work in co-production to implement the Learning Disability Strategy
  • Share their views and/or questions and to the Partnership Board
  • Hear presentations from peers, providers, and community groups

The Partnership connects with Support Workers & Personal Assistants through the Support Worker & PA Network.

Examples of co-production

Facilitation of Appreciative Inquiries

The Partnership worked with Suffolk County Council and external facilitators to host 7 Appreciative Inquiry events across Suffolk. The events looked at:

  • Supported living
  • Day, evening and weekend activities
  • Respite services

The Appreciative Inquiries helped to shape the specifications for new services under these 3 categories.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of looking at organisational change which focuses on identifying and doing more of what is already working, rather than looking for problems and trying to fix them. It makes rapid strategic change possible by focusing on the core strengths of an organisation and then using those strengths to reshape the future.

User-led service visits

Champions were supported to visit 16 services to talk to people about the they like about their service(s), what they don’t like, and what they’d like to change. This, alongside findings from the Appreciative Inquiries helped to build up a real understanding of people’s lives, their needs, ideas, wishes & feelings.

By working in co-production with Champions, people who used services really opened up and shared their experiences.

This work informed the specifications for new services from 2018.

Shaping specifications for new services

Strategy Champions worked alongside commissioners to write the specifications for:

  • Day, evening & weekend activities
  • Supported living services
  • Urgent Respite service (from July 2018, delivered by HomeGroup)
  • Short Term Enablement Service (from July 2018, delivered by Leading Lives)
  • Walk In, Peer & Brief Support Service (from July 2018, delivered by Realise Futures)
  • Planned Supported Breaks
  • Support me in my life


The partnership worked with ACS on the consultation for changes to ACS services from 2018. Consultation materials were produced in accessible formats such as easy-read & videos. The extensive engagement and co-production of the proposals were justified by the quality and depth of the responses. Most respondents were enthusiastic about the proposals and responded to the consultation, seeing the opportunities that the proposals create.

Often response rates are higher when there are strong feelings against new proposals.

Members of the Partnership Board also presented to SCC Scrutiny Committee in April 2018.

Themes of co-production in the Learning Disability Strategy

Accessible Information

The partnership is committed to providing all strategy information in accessible formats. The Partnership now commissions a local provider to create strategy resources into accessible formats. Easy-read was an agreed default format, but large print, plain text & videos are also frequently used.

Respect for all

The partnership involves a wide group of stakeholders including people with lived experience, family carers, professionals, volunteers, providers and support workers. The partnership/Strategy give respect to all, and values everyone’s time and ideas.

Building on strengths and expertise

Building on the respect for all, each member of the Partnership is valued for what they can bring when co-producing work. Everyone has their area(s) of expertise, and this expertise is respected and utilised to bring the best outcomes for adults with learning disabilities living in Suffolk.

The NHS has recently launched the 'Help Us, Help You' campaign. The campaign encourages people to contact their GP if they are worried about a symptom that could be cancer. Find out more: NHS.uk/cancersymptoms ...

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.