Advocacy and Co-Production
Advocacy is a form of support that many people who access services turn to and benefit from. Advocates support people for different purposes from individuals having problems accessing services to having support to determine their rights to housing provision. Some people need support to understand their GP’s better for instance while others may wish to get help to fill out forms. There are a whole range of areas that individuals can benefit from having an advocate. Advocacy is a key area of support for people and my role is to see that people benefit from advocacy in the right way. There are different forms of advocacy, self-advocacy, peer advocacy, volunteer advocacy, independent and professional advocacy, non-instructed advocacy and independent mental capacity advocacy. There are also independent mental health advocates.
Co-production is a way of working that involves people who use health and care services, carers and communities in equal partnership; and which engages groups of people at the earliest stages of service design, development and evaluation. Co-production acknowledges that people with ‘lived experience’ of a particular condition are often best placed to advise on what support and services will make a positive difference to their lives. When it’s done well co-production helps to ground discussions in reality and maintain a person-centred perspective. Co-production is part of a range of approaches that includes citizen involvement, participation, engagement and consultation. It’s a cornerstone of self-care, of person-centred care and of health coaching approaches.