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Date: December 2021

Medequip and Healthwatch – Working Together Towards Co-production

Medequip's focus on co-production has been enhanced and enriched by our partnership with health and social care champions at Healthwatch Suffolk.

Healthwatch recently hosted workshops for Medequip staff on how to best approach co-production. For a national organisation like Medequip, striving to acquire a shared understanding of co-production right across the organisation, from technicians, cleaners, and drivers to senior managers and directors, is a grand mission.

It's about looking at what we can do to truly enhance the service we provide for our service users
Michaela Harris, General Manager

So how did it go?

Su Conquer, Co-production Coordinator at Healthwatch Suffolk, provided us with her thoughts following the workshops.

From day one, Medequip staff showed excitement when they realised how the ethos of co-production could help improve their work with the public, she said. As a direct result of our conversations, co-production workshops now form part of the induction process for new staff at Medequip from the ground up. The engagement and contributions from new starters at the workshops showed how a new culture can be embedded, providing them with a greater sense of empowerment through the knowledge that they have the chance to feed into service improvements too.

Healthwatch Suffolk and Medequip have also joined up with a Collaborative Working Agreement, which includes ensuring a shared understanding of co-production and also a promise to improve the collection of people's feedback.

Healthwatch too has learned from facilitating these workshops. Medequip staff at all levels have contributed to the organisation's thinking about how to embed the principles of co-production into practice. Embedding a training programme across the organisation is a big step forward towards this philosophy, and is the first towards engaging with the community in a meaningful, equal, and accessible way.

No matter how large or small the organisation, a shared understanding is vital to climbing the ladder of co-production. From consultation, to user engagement and involvement all the way up to sharing power equally when we co-produce with people who use services – co-production workshops are an interactive way to learn and build as a team.

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