National Co-production Week 2022 runs from 4 to 9 July and is back for a 7th year. We look to the future of co-production at Parkinson's UK.
Organised by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, National Co-production Week is back for a 7th year. It celebrates the benefits of co-production, shares good practice and highlights the important impact that people who use services and their carers have on developing better public services.
To mark the week, we’ve been celebrating some of the fantastic co-production work that happens at Parkinson’s UK with our volunteers and staff. From the Parkinson’s UK Policy Panel to the Scotland Younger Parkinson’s Working Group, we’ve heard from members of the community about the projects they’ve been involved in and what their highlights were.
Anne is an Area Development Manager in Northern Ireland and member of the Speak Up Speak Out Working Group. Speak Up Speak Out is a voice support programme for people with Parkinson's based in Northern Ireland. The working group was set up to get the programme off the ground and brought together a range of perspectives from across the Parkinson's community.
Anne told us about her experience of being part of the group:
"The value of having a person with Parkinson’s in the working group could not be overestimated. As well as asking pertinent questions about the impact of symptoms including drooling and brain fog, he was a constant reminder of the need to keep it fun and sociable."
So, what is co-production?
The term co-production refers to a way of working, whereby everybody works together on an equal basis to create a service or come to a collective decision. The underlying values of co-production include a commitment to sharing power and decisions, a culture of openness, honesty and respect, and clear communication.
At Parkinson’s UK, this means members of the community (staff, volunteers and other people living with Parkinson’s) coming together to design and run activities, projects and services that improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones. It’s about sharing decision-making and influencing things like our policy responses, campaigning priorities and research focus.
David and Karen are members of the Parkinson’s UK Policy Panel, who meet twice a year and help us inform our positions on public policy matters. All members of the Panel either live with or care for somebody with Parkinson’s.
They told us about how being a part of the Policy Panel made them feel:
"Having open and honest discussions, we feel that collectively we have a powerful voice to ensure we can make changes for securing improved services and a better quality of life for the future."
What's next for co-production at Parkinson's UK?
As we reach the end of Co-production Week, what’s in the pipeline for the work we do alongside our community? We recognise that whilst we do a lot of great work in this area, it’s not as joined up as it could be, and we don’t communicate about it enough. We’re committing to changing this by establishing a dedicated Participation and Involvement Team at Parkinson’s UK and making the co-production work that already happens more visible.
Moving forward, we’re also committed to bringing together members of the Parkinson’s community who want to help shape our work. We’ll be sharing more opportunities with more people and finding out more about what those people would like to be involved in.
Want to get involved?
It’s in the early stages, but we’d really like to hear from people that want to talk about this work. If you’d like to be a part of our collaboration network and help us shape what we do next, or would just like to ask questions at this stage, get in touch with us.