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Part 5. Next steps and further support



A few thoughts to conclude… Your keywords on this co-production journey are patience and learning!

Patience, because we are addressing urgent problems that have real impacts on people’s lives, so it’s natural to feel we have to do it all at once; but keep it simple, and take it steady step by step. It builds stronger and ultimately ends up quicker that way. The main thing to remember is that it’s a journey, with relationships as the operating principle, and relationships grow at the speed of trust.  Whether you get to spend 10 minutes with someone you might not see again for a year, or your co-production project is a short-term ‘task and finish’ intervention, it’s part of a longer term relationship and development of trust between your organisation and its service users and unpaid carers: it builds on what came before, and will create the conditions for what comes after. 

Learning, because there are no one-size-fits-all silver bullets: the only way is to learn by doing. Adopt the PDCA cycle: Plan, Do (test), Check (learn), Adjust… and test and learn again! Try to bring more curiosity and less defensiveness to the whole process. The stakes are high, and that is all the more reason to take this transformative approach with a growth mindset (“I can learn this” instead of “I’m either good or bad at this”).

We hope that this toolkit will help you to take some steps along the co-production path. 

The Co-production Network for Wales exists to help you further, with free tools and resources on the knowledge base, and more importantly a community of practitioners from all public service sectors across Wales, supporting one another along this ongoing journey of development. (info@copronet.wales)

Carers Trust Wales can help with carer-specific issues, providing further resources, advice, and free Carer Aware training. (wales@carers.org)