Co-production at Lifeways
When it comes to person-centred support, we believe the people we support are the experts in knowing what’s going to have the most positive impact on their lives. This is why we use Co-production at Lifeways, to enable people to have a voice and help shape the support we provide.
What is Co-production?
Simply put, Co-production is another way of saying that we strive to include everyone when we design, develop and evaluate our support - that includes our teams, the people we support, their families, carers and communities.
Co-production has been at the heart of our values for the past 25 years. The Think Local Act Personal national partnership, of which Lifeways is a member, calls co-production a ‘meeting of minds coming together to find shared solutions’. Or, as Josie, an individual we support who lives in Morecambe, Lancashire describes co-production: “when I get support, it’s a working-together-and-helping-each-other-thing.”
“You can’t offer the outcome people want, or offer personalised support, if you’re not listening to the experiences of the people you’re supporting. I’m really proud to work for Lifeways, as we’re committed to personalisation, and to continually learning and reflecting.”
Jodie, Group Head of Quality and Health & Safety at Lifeways
Watch our video on Co-production
There are four main principles to Co-production:
- Equality - Making sure that everyone involved has an equal voice.
- Diversity - Ensuring that everyone is given the opportunity to have a voice.
- Access - Giving everyone the opportunity to take part in many different ways.
- Reciprocity - Ensuring participants gain value from doing so, and are recognised for their contribution.
How do we use Co-production at Lifeways?
Co-production is something we use on a daily basis. Our teams encourage people to make their own decisions on how they’d like to spend their time, and what support they might need to do so. We also have many inclusive and accessible ways, such as regular forums and conferences, surveys and reviews to offer people the opportunity to share their views on the quality and development of our support and locations. Below are a few great examples of how we use Co-production at Lifeways:
Our inclusive approach to recruitment
We believe that the people we support should have the opportunity to choose the team that surrounds them. So we developed our Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit, which allows individuals to be involved with the recruitment of our new team members. This includes:
- Helping to create job adverts
- Supporting in choosing the shortlisted candidates
- Contributing to the questions that we ask candidates
- The opportunity to ask questions in person during the formal interview process
- The option to notify the successful candidate, if they feel comfortable to.
Our Quality Checkers
Quality Checkers are people supported by Lifeways who volunteer to check out locations in their local area. They are a bit like auditors - they receive training, ask lots of questions and make sure everyone is happy with their support. They recognise and celebrate all the good things about the support people receive, and they can also spot any areas that might need to be improved.
Quality Checkers visit locations in their area regularly to check that people are happy by:
- Asking specific questions relating to the support individuals receive
- Checking if they are satisfied with their accommodation
- Checking if the area they live in has good services and amenities such as shops, pubs and restaurants
- Also asking questions of the staff who provide support.
Nikki Noble, Area Manager at Lifeways, recently trained 26 more people we support as Quality Checkers. “Supporting individuals in the training process of being a Quality Checker is something I feel really passionate about,” says Nikki. “After all, there’s no better experts than the individuals who live in their services!”
Our eventual goal is to have a Quality checker in each of our services across the UK. If you’re interested in being a Quality Checker, you can email Dan Mead, Regional Quality Manager at [email protected].
The Lifelines newsletter
Our Lifelines newsletter is a great example of co-production. Content is collated by the people we support, allowing them to share highlights of news, events and success stories from across Lifeways.