Our view on first wave of SoF co-production workshops

When the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process was instigated in Cornwall in 2016, Healthwatch Cornwall (HC) decided to observe how the public would be involved.

This included attending most of the public events, held by the NHS and local authority in January 2017, to inform people about the plan, now known, in Cornwall, as Shaping Our Future (SoF).

Following these events, HC took a seat at the SoF Transformation Board. This enables us to provide a direct route for the public to continue to feed in their views on services.

In addition, we offered to attend the subsequent SoF co-production workshops for professionals and clinicians.

Following the first wave of workshops, Chief Executive at HC Amanda Stratford said: “We are committed at Healthwatch Cornwall in placing people’s experience at the heart of health and social care.

“After what was a shaky start to Shaping our Future engagement there is real commitment, and corresponding resources, for effective co-production and future public engagement in the process.

“We are attending all the co-production workshops and feeding back our observations on making the events as inclusive and effective as possible – these have been well received by the SoF team and changes made to improve events on a continuous basis.”

Our observations covered logistics, attendance, content, engagement, facilitation, and evaluation.

From these we recommended that more junior staff participated; more social care sector input, particularly experience/ideas from providers is included; there is wider voluntary sector attendance; facilitation skills improve and are of consistent in quality; there is diversity at each table; tasks at each table are clarified prior to start to ensure full engagement; and if detailed information is to be used at the next round of workshops it should be distributed in advance to give delegates the time to read and digest.

We concluded that the first wave of workshops was a valuable and useful beginning to the process of co-production, with commitment to the process being demonstrated by those attending.

Amanda added: “There has undoubtedly been some learning throughout the first six events which we hope will be applied to the remaining meetings.”

You can also listen to Amanda talking to ITV West Country about ambulance delay that took place this month. As our previous Patient Flow (12 Hours in the Emergency Department) report indicated, there are multiple reasons why these situations arise. At Healthwatch Cornwall we believe it is a whole system issue and that the integration of service commissioners and providers will streamline this. This will however take time but the SoF co-production process seems a step in the right direction.

To provide feedback on your health and/or social care services, call us on 0800 0381 281 or go to our Have Your Say page. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube too. #ItStartsWithYou