Time for co-production?
Yesterday we went along to one of two events the Borough is holding to start engagement that will eventually lead to the commissioning of a new drugs and alcohol interventions service. Eventually really does mean eventually. Initial thinking is that the engagement phase will be at least six months, maybe more.
Time is critical for involvement and co-production because it allows dialogue and trust to develop and for people’s ideas to evolve and interact.
Another element that makes this area interesting from a co-production viewpoint is that drug or alcohol dependency is often associated with mental health support needs.
In Richmond, because of a recent commissioning process, mental health providers and the current contract holder have been sensitised to both the kind of person centred high level outcomes that often underpin co-production, and the need to work collaboratively. In addition, that commissioning process stressed that services needed to involve their service users.
What this adds up to is an environment which makes co-production more likely. The critical element though is having the time for it to happen.