Co-production programme

What co-production means, our projects and how to get involved.

What co-production means

Co-production means working together as equals and making best use of our resources and strengths to find ways of doing things that benefit our community.

Co-production can improve the way health and social care services are designed and delivered by putting an emphasis on a more equal partnership between professionals and people using those services. Working together as equals builds better relationships (based on trust, respect and understanding) and helps to create services that actually work for the people using them.

About Co-production Oxfordshire

Co-production Oxfordshire is a group of people committed to doing co-production, or working together. We believe that if we work together, we can make services better and more sustainable, and communities stronger and healthier. Members include:

  • families and carers using health and social care services
  • people from the voluntary and community sector
  • council staff (and partners) working across social and health care.

We worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to co-design a plan with local people, which included setting up a:

  • co-production Team
  • co-production Board
  • co-production champions.

The Co-production Board and champions

Co-production Board

Team-Up is the name of our Co-production Board. Board members check, challenge, advise and support the council and health partners in their co-production work. The board is a group of people who are experts through experience using, or caring for someone using, health and social care services. They sit alongside and work together as equals with staff who work in health and social care.

Co-production isn’t just about improving services and saving money, it’s about involving people in decisions that affect their lives and giving communities collective ownership. It helps people flourish and feel a sense of place and belonging, and and ultimately leads to improved wellbeing, and a thriving, diverse community.

Co-production champions

The co-production champions main aim is to work with people to help them learn about, use and embed co-production, so it becomes the usual way of working.

Our champions group is made up of people who have experience of using, or caring for someone using, health and social care services, people who work in the voluntary and community sector, and staff who work in health and social care. Their job is to enable co-production to spread, by championing co-production, teaching people about it, and training and supporting more people to do it. 

Become a champion or board member

If you are passionate about co-production and making things better, contact us and you can apply to become a co-production board member or champion.

As a member or champion, you will be expected to:

  • live in Oxfordshire
  • fully understand and be committed to the principles of co-production and the belief that everyone is equal
  • attend and contribute to meetings, training, workshops, and focus groups
  • do some work connected with projects and meetings, often in time outside of meetings
  • be confident to challenge and question in a helpful and respectful way
  • use your knowledge and personal experience of using social and health care services, or caring for someone who does, to support the aims of the programme
  • want to contribute to the development of services in Oxfordshire
  • understand the need to balance openness and confidentiality
  • have good communication skills
  • respect people’s differences and their different needs.

Time, travel expenses and out-of-pocket expenses will be covered in line with our policy.


We have an increasing number of co-production projects within the programme. We have worked with more than 1,000 people from across Oxfordshire to co-produce important strategies, develop services, or share skills and experience around co-production.

Joint Older People’s Strategy

The Joint Older People’s Strategy, which guides Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxfordshire County Council priorities in working with older people, was co-produced with nearly 600 people. Members of the public, people who use services and their families and carers, voluntary organisations and local Councillors all gave their views through a survey and events throughout the summer of 2018, ending in a strategy development day with over 40 people from different backgrounds on 16 October 2018. 

The strategy looks at four priorities:

  • being physically and emotionally healthy
  • being part of a strong and dynamic community
  • housing, homes and the environment
  • access to information and care.

The delivery plan of the strategy around these four priorities is now also being co-produced. 

Grants panels

People who use services and carers are sitting along-side councillors on panels that make decisions about money. These panels give grants to voluntary organisations across the county.  

People who use services and carers joined councillors and county council officers on both the Innovation Fund and Sustainability Fund panels. These panels made decisions about which charities and community groups should receive grants. This was the first time Councillors sat with members of the public to make decisions about money. Councillors said they found having people who use services and carers on the panel very helpful. People with experience of using services and carers who are involved have also given positive feedback from the experience. 

Moving into adulthood project

This project reviewed the way we supported young people and their families through transition from children’s services to adult services. The need for the project was identified through feedback from young people and their families, staff in children’s and adult services, and through recent guidance and legislation which highlighted issues and areas for potential improvement.

The project was co-produced and involved a total of 108 people (this was a mix of people using services, carers, providers and staff).

A project group, made up of young people, parents and frontline staff, was formed and met several times throughout the year. They also talked to other people who could not come to the meetings. the group put together a presentation, which they then presented to the directors of Children’s and Adult Services. The presentation made recommendations about what changes should be made to the way people are supported to move from children’s to adult services. 

Directors in Children’s and Adults Social Care have said they like what the group recommended and are now looking at developing a single transitions team.

Watch this video for more information on the project, and to hear about people’s involvement in it.

Carers pathway review

We are co-designing a new offer to carers around how we provide information, guidance and support. We have a core co-design group who have been looking at a draft booklet for Newly Registered Carers, and the identification of carers through GP practices and as a community approach, meeting with other services to identify carers. We will continue to work on the guide for carers and progress work on improving information and advice for carers.

Self-funders review

Self-funders pay for their own care. In 2017 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that people funding their own care faced barriers to getting advice, information and guidance about services. They were not always at the centre of their care and support when moving through the health and social care system. CQC asked us to improve our support for self-funders. We have committed to co-designing these improvements with self-funders. 

Homecare 2020

Home care is a vital service, that keeps people living in their homes for as long as possible. We are reviewing Home Care Services they buy from providers in Oxfordshire. We want to co-design a new home care model and a different contract offer. We have been intensively co-designing with providers. We are presenting our plans to internal managers to get feedback. We will then meet with people receiving care in focus groups and perhaps do a survey to get feedback on key areas.

Care Homes Strategy

We are working with people using services and their families, and the people who work in the services (providers) or use them in their working life, to make a new plan for joining up everybody’s ideas and make sure people get the best care at the right time. We have spoken to a total of 63 people (38 residents in the care homes, 19 of their relatives and six staff), and a further 174 through an online survey. We are currently writing the first draft of the strategy and will be completing an online consultation on this in September 2019.

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) strategy

Children’s Services are aiming to co-produce the new strategy with young people and parent carers. We are running workshops with parent carers from the Oxfordshire Parent Carer Forum and professionals from education, health and care. The aim of the strategy is to set out how Oxfordshire County Council, along with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and partners (including education and health providers) will work together to provide services and support for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. 

Co-production network and events

In July 2019 we held our first ever Co-production Festival in Oxfordshire, as part of National Co-production Week. This event provided a place to learn, share and celebrate co-production, and deepen and widen the impact of the co-production programme in Oxfordshire. From this we have developed a co-production network. Email us to join the mailing list and hear about upcoming projects or events.

We had speakers from the Wales Co-production Network, from Co:create, and from co-production author, David Boyle. A range of interactive activities, a virtual dementia experience, and workshops on language, sharing power, and accessible tools. Over 160 people came from far and wide to take part in the event.

Watch our video of the day, produced by some of our co-production champions.

The co-production handbook

This handbook has been co-designed by:

  • Team-Up: Oxfordshire’s Co-production Board
  • Co-production champions
  • Co-production Team.

The co-production handbook has been developed based on what people involved in a number of different scoping sessions said they would want to get from this kind of resource. 

How to use this handbook

We say that there is no template for co-production. The process is different in each project as the nature of the problem and the people involved in solving it will be different each time. 

The important thing is to make a plan and give it a go, learn from your experience and use this learning to improve future practice.

This handbook is a way to help you start with co-production. Because there is no single, set way to do it, it is intended as general guidance. It cannot cover every aspect or detail of what needs to be considered when doing co-production, but there are some common ideas and principles that can be used which will support you with much of the process. 

Download the handbook

Download your copy of our complete co-production handbook (pdf format, 2.4Mb) or just one of the sections below:

Use and creative commons licence

All the content of the handbook is copyrighted under the Creative Commons Licence CC-BY. This means that you can distribute, remix, tweak and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as Co-production Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire County Council is credited as the original creation. 

Join our network or find out more

Be part of our co-production network if you want to:

  • learn about co-production projects or events
  • be kept up to date about training or changes in legislation that may affect or support co-production
  • get invited to take part in co-production projects.
  • receive our quarterly newsletter Autumn 2020 (pdf format, 668Kb)

If you'd like to find out more or join the mailing list then contact us or find us on Twitter @OxonCopro.