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UCL Public Engagement Blog



It’s National Co-production Week! Just another ‘named’ day of the year or something bigger?

By Niccola, on 3 July 2019

As the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research we believe it’s something much MUCH bigger!

We feel that #CoProWeek, (this year from 1-5 July 2019) is a chance for us all to shout about how great co-production is and to promote the benefits! This annual initiative is brought to us by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), this year with a focus on sharing power.

Therefore, as part of Co-production Week 2019 we are very pleased to announce…

Our UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research Phase 2 Pilot projects!

The idea of the Pilot projects is to help the Centre to learn what works and what doesn’t when co-producing and to further co-produce the development of the UCL Centre for Co-production and what it becomes – you can read more about the Centre development work to date in our collection of blogs.

So back to that pilot project announcement! Last week a mixed Review Team made up of members of the local community, patients, carers, researchers, healthcare practitioners and students read and scored the applications we received for the Centre Phase 2 Pilot projects (we had 24 in total, more than doubling our 10 from Phase 1) and then we met up as a group of 11 (with 2 other people reviewing remotely) at LIFT, a community centre in Islington to discuss each application in depth. Ultimately, and after a VERY busy session we came to a collective decision (as a team!) as to which ones scored most highly against the criteria outlined in the application form and FAQs documents.

Writing that says – Yay! Exciting times ahead. (Image credit: https://cuando.ie/)

The pilots that the group chose to fund (each receiving £10,000-15,000), are…. drum roll please! In the words of each of the co-production teams themselves…

Autism Access

“Our project aims to improve mental health provision for autistic people via co-production. Our team comprises autistic and non-autistic people with diverse experience in psychology, neuroscience, media and mental health. One of our key aims is to work together to produce and disseminate our reflections and guidance on how to do co-production in a way that empowers autistic team members. We will also work together to think about how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be adapted for autistic adults, and co-produce a design for a pilot study. Autistic people and their families have highlighted that their number one priority for research is to know which interventions improve mental health for autistic people, and how these should best be adapted (Cusack & Sterry, 2016). The government’s Think Autism strategy has also set a priority that autistic people experiencing mental health difficulties should have support adapted to their needs. Despite the fact that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines for depression and anxiety, there is little evidence currently available regarding how best to adapt CBT to help autistic people. We aim to redress this balance by co-producing a document on adapting CBT, co-producing a design for a pilot study for an adapted CBT protocol, and developing a set of reflective guidelines that we hope will help to guide, provoke and encourage future co-production initiatives with autistic and non-autistic team members.”

The collaborators are: Dorota Ali, Annalise Ayre, Nick Holmes, Richard Pender, Naomi Schneider and Eloise Stark.

BAME Voices

“We are really excited to be awarded the UCL Co-production Pilot project funding and will be co-creating a participatory research project into black and ethnic minority women’s experience of maternity care. Exploring how best to ensure their voices are heard and what impact this approach can have on all involved.

This follows on from the North Central London Better Births project in which a diverse group of maternity service users were trained in Participatory Appraisal; a peer-led approach to qualitative action research which actively engages communities to identify, explore and find solutions to issues that affect them.”

The BAME Voices team have produced a video that shares more info about the project – please have a watch!

The collaborators are: Emily Ahmed, Aygul Ozdemir, Aynur Ozdemir, and Yana Richens.

Hearing Birdsong

“Our project will develop Hearing Birdsong, a co-produced installation using birdsong and brightly coloured bird boxes to raise awareness of hearing loss. Originally based on a patient story and developed by people with hearing loss, designers, clinicians and researchers, the team will continue to work in a co-produced way with various community members, particularly using a method called action learning sets (a group technique using open-ended questions) to deliver it’s aims. The key aims will focus on co-producing installations for less-often-heard voices, improving the experience of the installation and co-producing a novel approach to capture feedback from the public, which can be used to further develop the concept. Ultimately, the team are hoping to encourage those with potential hearing loss to seek help, where appropriate, and in-turn to diagnose people with unaddressed hearing loss. Throughout the project, the team will reflect on their experiences of co-production and will develop a toolkit or workshop to share their learnings. This project came about as the result of the Phase 1 pilot projects, please feel free to have a read of our blog – ‘Our co-production journey: from sandpits to bird boxes’ to find out more.”

The collaborators are: Tom Woods, Pip Batey, Owen Bray, Ara Darzi, Adrian Davis OBE, Lisa Freise, Rai Khalid, Anna Lawrence-Jones, Angela Quilley, Lorenzo Picinali, Jessica Tingle, Annie Rickard Straus, Jean Straus, Taran Tatla, and Ruth Thomsen.

Image of the Helix Design Centre with the Hearing Birdsong yellow bird boxes displayed in the room (Image credit: James Retief @jretief11)

Bridging Gaps

“Bridging Gaps is a peer-led group of 13 women from Bristol aiming to improve access to primary healthcare services for women with complex needs. We are a group of researchers, support staff and experts by experience. We plan to co-produce a video to be used in healthcare settings and train a peer advocacy group to reach into healthcare settings to develop better pathways for women with complex needs. Our team and plan has been developed from the foundation of 8 exploratory co-production meetings. We are excited to get started!”

The collaborators are: Lucy Potter and a collection of Bristol Women.

Please do spread the word about these Pilot projects and of course the fact that it is National Co-production Week! By the way if you are interested in our Phase 1 Pilots you can read more about them in our blog – ‘Collaboration is key!’.

If you would prefer there is a downloadable version of this blog, which is also available in other formats from Niccola if PDF doesnt work for you.

And don’t forget if you are interested in working with the Centre there is currently a Maternity Cover role available.

This is all for now, thank you! Niccola


The header image shows: a collection of arms holding up letters that spell ‘Sharing’. (Photo credit: drawingninja.com)

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