Co-production is defined by Slay and Stephens (2013, p.3) as “a relationship where professionals and citizens share power to plan and deliver support together, recognising that both partners have vital contributions to make in order to improve quality of life for people and communities.”
Co-production is underpinned by a number of distinctive principles:
Equality - users of health services need to be equal partners with service providers. Everyone in the process has something to offer and one person or group’s input is not more important than another’s.
Diversity and accessibility - activities, services and information need to be accessible and inclusive for all communities and groups.
Reciprocity and mutuality - people need to get something back for putting something in, and to feel that their contribution is valued.
It is highlighted throughout the literature that for co-production to enable recovery and be truly transformative there needs to be a shift in power and control from the professionals who provide services towards the people who use services, and their carers.
Co-production can result in improved outcomes for individuals, an increase in the capacity of services, and economic value for individuals, governments and service organisations.