Back in September last year when we, Helen and Lorraine, started these blog posts we wrote:
“The Coalition for Collaborative Care is a major new alliance aiming to transform the way care is delivered to or accessed by people with long term conditions so that they and professionals can work together to improve outcomes, and to achieve this they promote co-production. This blog aims to contribute to that process, to widen the debate and to reach out to people and groups who may not yet be involved. We’ll be very pleased if you share this blog, contribute your ideas, and join in the debate.”
We met recently, albeit a couple of months later than originally planned, to talk about how things were going. We both felt the project had been successful and had filled a gap: we had mostly managed a blog a week between ourselves and our wonderful guest bloggers, whilst the range of contributions has been both wide and (we hope) constructively critical. Our contributors have been from within and outside of the care sector and have included those who give, receive, manage, organise and advocate for care and/or services.
It has been significant that, regardless of the sector / area of work the various blogs originate from, the key messages are the same. Themes that have emerged have included power imbalances, a need for structural change, how to properly value all those involved, whether or not there can (or ought to) (or even could) be a simple, universal definition of coproduction. We shared many examples of the benefits that coproduction has brought to the lives of individuals, and to organisations, along with words of wisdom as to what helps coproduction to succeed, whilst guest bloggers also offered critiques illustrating how coproduction could be improved.
Overall Helen and I feel that, although we see this series of blogs as a valuable resource, we have now probably taken it as far as we can as regular bloggers here. We continue to believe that the blog has a great value and our fond hope is that someone / some organisation will take it on and operate it with the openness, transparency, and range of contributors that we have done our best to establish. We are likely to still post occasional blogs, but not with the weekly frequency of before.
Our thanks and appreciation go to our guest bloggers, who have all done us proud. And of course we thank and appreciate each other, for a collaborative, supportive, and fun way of working: we’ll need to find alternative reasons to meet for lunch and coffee!
If you or your organisation are interested in hosting this blog for the future then please contact either Helen or Lorraine – we’re both on Facebook and Twitter.