Change 1: Co-produce with communities

Co-production is an equal relationship between people who use services and the people responsible for services. They work together, from design to delivery, sharing strategic decision-making about policies as well as decisions about the best way to deliver services.


Working in this way can unlock ideas, assets and resources and lead to creative solutions that could otherwise be lost through a top-down or ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

The change could be co-producing and agreeing local priorities, designing or improving services, or building groups, activities and events to improve health and wellbeing.


Making it Real statements

I have a co-produced personal plan that sets out how I can be as active and involved in my community as possible."

We work in partnership with others to make sure that all our services work seamlessly together from the perspective of the person accessing services."

Tips for success

  • Involve communities as partners at all stages. For example, setting priorities, planning, designing services, improving services, and evaluation.
  • Ensure that people have access to statutory and non-statutory advocacy to ensure their views and wishes are respected and they are fully involved in any decisions about their care.
  • Leaders need to prioritise this work and recognise that building relationships with communities or individuals takes time and needs to be appropriately resourced.
  • Focusing on people’s experiences can break down barriers both between organisations, and between organisations and communities.
  • Start small to show the value of coproduction and build on this.
  • Look at how you communicate with communities, ask ‘who are we leaving out?’ to ensure your coproduction is not perpetuating inequalities.
  • Explore how training can encourage health and care staff to share power and work better with communities and how mentorship can enable people with lived experience to participate in coproduction.
  • Promote local leadership, recognising that the people best placed to bring partners together and unlock local assets may not be health or social care staff.

Supporting materials


Cast studies

  • Healthier Fleetwood - primary care working in partnership with residents to understand what they want and need. Building groups, activities and events to tackle health inequalities.
  • Rotherham’s hyper-local priorities for neighbourhood wards co-designed by councillors, communities and public sector staff using a range of local data and intelligence.
  • An expert by experience group in Bradford who shaped and improved primary care services by using their lived experience of disadvantage and discrimination.

To request a PDF copy of this resource, please email chip@local.gov.uk.