Imagine government agencies, policy makers, service providers sharing decision-making power with consumers and families/carers!
A nation where the voices of people with lived experience are heard, valued, debated, and then – most importantly – acted upon.
In essence, this is the definition of co-design. However, consumers and families/ carers believe that it is time to go one step further. They want to engage in co-production, enabling them to play roles in the delivery of the services that they have co-designed.
Co-production involves consumers and families/ carers at every stage of the process, reinforcing the idea that the people who use the service are best placed to help produce it. It is about progression towards “the transformation of power and control”. Co-production requires thinking about people, power, partnerships, resources and risk in ways that are very different to what has gone before in mental health services.
Importantly, it is only co-production and/or co-design if consumers and families/ carers agree that it is. This means that consumers and families/ carers must be fully involved in all aspects of co-design and co- production.