A co-productive approach
When developing our Population Assessment we undertook a comprehensive engagement exercise in which we worked with the three PSBs which were consulting on their well-being assessments at the same time. Our Assessment noted a number of key messages coming from the engagement, which included a survey distributed to households in the region and a series of follow-up consultation events. These messages included:
- A significant number of people identifying as having caring issues
- Around a third of respondents stating they had a health issues that affected their well-being
- Many people receiving care and support directly from their families
- Reported problems with care and support including care visits at unsuitable times and at infrequent intervals, long waiting lists for local authority care, changes in benefits lessening people’s ability to pay for care privately and unmet need for emotional support and practical help following slips and falls
- The need to ensure information and advice in relation to care and support is readily available and accurate
- The value of supporting people and communities to help themselves
- The importance of having access to preventative services
- The need to ensure availability of services in people’s language of choice
- The need to put people at the heart of care and support and to improve access to services
These views and concerns have been reflected in the themes and objectives of our Plan. In producing the Plan we took further opportunities to engage with a range of people, to ensure that our priorities reflect their views and opinions as far as possible. For example, we have discussed its contents with users, carers and representatives of the third and independent sectors on the RPB and engaged with a number working groups comprising a range of stakeholders to ensure that it reflects shared intentions and draws on existing effective practice.
However, genuine co-production requires a bolder approach and should not start and finish at planning stage. As a partnership we are committed to working with users, carers, families, advocates and citizens in general to make sure that people get the right care and support that meets their needs and aspirations. Appropriate means of ensuring this will be identified for each of our workstreams and the RPB will also look to scrutinise other relevant programmes across West Wales in terms of the extent to which they are co-produced.
In addition to user and carer representation on the RPB, we will establish new regional arrangements for engaging with a cross-section of the public in planning, delivering and reviewing care and support services. These will complement mechanisms already in place at regional and local levels. A new strategic Innovations Forum will also be established to help us engage meaningfully with service providers across the statutory, independent and third sectors in developing and delivering new approaches to care and support and achieving social value.
Such approaches will complement changes to practice through which, increasingly, individuals will participate meaningfully in creating their own care and support plans, requiring us to work innovatively with users, carers and providers. We will also continue to promote Direct Payments as a means of increasing user voice and control.