Evaluation of co-production processes in a community-based mental health project in Wandsworth
Hatzidimitriadou, E., Mantovani, N. and Keating, F. 2012. Evaluation of co-production processes in a community-based mental health project in Wandsworth. Kingston upon Thames Kingston University and St George's, University of London.
|Hatzidimitriadou, E., Mantovani, N. and Keating, F.
The notion of partnerships and co-production has been introduced in the latest public services policies, suggesting that the key to reforming them is to encourage users to design and deliver services in equal partnerships with professionals. It is argued that co-production has the potential to deliver a major shift in the way we provide health, education, policing and other services in ways that make them much more effective, more efficient, and therefore more sustainable.
This report presents findings from an evaluation study of the co-production processes in a community-based mental health project at the London Borough of Wandsworth. The evaluation sought to describe actions, changes, and functions that brought about a co-productive way of offering Improve Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services in this locality. The study aimed at producing transferable knowledge about a novel model of public service provision, which was developed by Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN) in association with the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust. The ‘Wandsworth Model’ entails canvassing partnerships with local faith-based and other community groups, who got engaged in co-producing responsive mental health services, in an attempt to address issues such as access and effectiveness of service delivery.
The study applied a participatory research approach to capture the co-production processes that took place in establishing the partnership between the mental health services and WCEN and the impact of such initiatives in reaching out to local BME communities. Our main method of gathering evidence was narrative interviews which were conducted with key informants from the three groups involved in delivering co-produced services: IAPT professionals, WCEN workers, and community/religious leaders. The thematic interview areas were: the participants’ involvement in the co-produced services, views about co-production, benefits and challenges of co-production for all stakeholders, and suggestions for improvement.
The findings for this study suggest that co-production can be very rewarding for both public agencies and communities, if supported and implemented with a view to empower people instead of making false economies for the welfare services. The ultimate goal should be that service users become partners in managing their own health however this is a major shift that requires a lot of experience and commitment in the co-production of services and, perhaps, it can only be possible when systemic barriers at community, public agency and state levels are brought down. Nonetheless, the ‘Wandsworth model’ of co-production appears to be a promising approach and should be further explored and supported to achieve its full potential.
|Mental health; Community mental health; Wandsworth; Public health
|Kingston University and St George's, University of London
|Place of publication
|Kingston upon Thames
|Publication process dates
|08 Feb 2017
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