In celebration of Co-production Week, the Coordinator for the Co-production Group shared with us this story of how multi-agency partners are actively working together to review and update Manchester’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Personal Budget policy.

From the very beginning of the process the Co-production Group came together to look at how best to review and update the EHC Plan Personal Budget Policy.

Throughout the process we reviewed who needed to be part of the group and we invited different services, so we had the right people there. The Co-production Group consists of parents/carers, IASM and a variety of representatives from children’s and adult’s education, health, and social care services.

Working in co-production really does make you think, “Is the work going to achieve what we want it to achieve and how can we get it there together?

We made the decision that the first part of the policy would work better if it was written as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. The FAQs section is for parents, carers, and young people to dip into to get their initial questions answered. The second part of the policy would be more in-depth information on administration, roles, responsibilities, and processes.

We decided the policy should be written in an active voice, using ‘You’ to make it more approachable and easier to read.

We decided we would split up into smaller project groups with a focus on different elements of the policy. We came back together as the full co-production group at several points to review the progress made, gather feedback, and draft all the sections together, sentence by sentence.

We have been able to get a lot of different viewpoints and were able to see the piece of work from all perspectives. We are learning and growing together.

We are not quite finished yet; it may take longer to work in co-production, but it is well worth it. We know that working in co-production from the start has made sure we are in the process of producing a piece of work that is a shared vision, will be fit for purpose and accessible.