Co-Production Collective – a massive leap forward for the co-production of research
By Niccola, on 26 October 2020
Meet Isaac, one of the attendees at our launch event on 22 October 2020. Isaac wants to bust the myth that the medical model and social model are at odds with each other and talks about how he believes change is finally coming to health research.
For far too long health research has been the poor relation of social care in terms of co-production.
You may ask why this is.
I believe that there is a perception that the medical model and social model are at odds with each other; however, this is not true – it is kind of an urban myth. Just because people say it and believe it, does not mean it has to be so. Both the medical and social model are about humans and are fundamentally about supporting people to live their best lives.
What has been a long time coming is the elevation of co-production within health research. The voices of people with lived experience and those with trained experience must come together to ensure that health research is rooted in the experience of those who may find the intervention and the research of value. This must be a process which is collaborative and supportive of one single aim – achieving the best possible research that helps people have the best possible lives.
This feels like a no-brainer to any sensible person, however we know that many people, for various reasons, find co-production challenging.
Historically, the structures surrounding health research have not been the most enabling of co-production because they have been heavy on process, highly formulaic and very system-led. What has been needed for a long time is a recognition that co-production is all about creating the right conditions.
At the core of Co-Production Collective are a set of values which speak to this:
We say it like it is, continually questioning both the status quo and ourselves, even when that’s the hard thing to do.
We value people as people and do everything wholeheartedly and work to make a genuine difference.
We support everyone to be included and participate fully in our co-production community.
We share power, make decisions openly and collectively, and are accountable to our co-production community.
The journey continues and I’m sure that it is going to be a tough and difficult one, but with one crucial difference. This time, we will have help. Our core principles become our map, compass, satnav and north star for the journey. As someone who hates the idea of a hard journey, my advice is: don’t be precious about co-production, just get on and do it and you will find you have these wonderful values to help you along the way.
Isaac Samuels, the co-production explorer!