National Co-production Week 2024 | News and Events

National Co-production Week 2024

The Service User Voice Forum

We're excited about National Co-production Week hosted by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) from 1 - 5 July 2024.

For the ninth year running, Co-production Week will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice, and highlight the contribution of those who use our services and their carers in developing better public services.

The theme for 2024 ‘Co-production: What’s Missing’?, invites us to look at the need to go beyond familiar voices and increase equity and diversity in co-production, think about how we can access better training and development and have clear definitions and language around co-production.

Find out more about co-production across the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) under the headings below:

Co-Production and our new Clinical Care Strategy

Following events of the last two years, GMMH is now on an improvement journey, recognising concerns raised. Co-production forms an integral part of this journey as we’re keen to make changes in the best interests of the individuals who use services, their families and carers, and staff.

In July 2023 we published our Improvement Plan ‘Building Our Future Together’, based on the feedback from those who use, work within or alongside GMMH services.

The focus continues to be on getting the basics right, re-building trust and ensuring that we learn from recent events.

The Improvement Plan includes five key areas of focus:

  • Patient Safety
  • Clinical Strategy and Professional Standards
  • People
  • Culture
  • Leadership and Governance

As part of the focus on Clinical Strategy and Professional Standards we are committed to make sure that the care, treatment and support we provide meets need and achieves positive outcomes for service users. We want to set clear standards for ourselves, that are shaped by service users, carers and clinicians and based on best practice and evidence.

These standards will be set out within a Clinical and Care Strategy. To develop this strategy, we have asked a Social Enterprise Company called Kaleidoscope to engage with service users and carers. Trust leaders will also engage with staff, and partners to listen to their experiences and gather ideas about improvements and priorities.

We have listened to feedback from service users and carers that were involved in the Oliver Shanley review who said that they appreciated the opportunity to talk to someone independent in a relaxed interview style, hence why we have commissioned Kaleidoscope to do this work.

We have heard feedback from those using our services about access to support, behaviours from staff, limited interventions, partnership working, and transfer/discharge planning, and are keen to allow those with lived experience the opportunity to tell us about their expectations for this new strategy.

A series of Service User and Carer group interviews have taken place across the Trust throughout June to ensure that lived experience of mental health and service provision is reflected in our strategic priorities.

Running alongside these interviews is a survey that is open to all service users, carers, and staff to share their views. This survey closes on 7 July. If you would like to complete it, please click here:

Using Lived Experience to support Community Transformation

GMMH is working with people who use our services, carers, staff, and partner organisations to transform community mental health services in line with the national and Greater Manchester strategy.

Living Well Teams are multiagency neighbourhood teams, made up of a range of partners providing different services that will bridge the gap between primary (GP and community-based) services and secondary (specialist CMHT) services.

Living Well creates new ways of supporting the mental health of people in local communities. It offers holistic support for anyone struggling with their mental health.  The team listen and connect them with the support they need within the community. This could involve things like help with finance, housing, employment, mental illness, or loneliness.  These are the kind of wider health and social care needs that service users and carers tell us they would like support with via our experience surveys and engagement activities.

Codesign, coproduction and codelivery with people with lived experience and their carers are key features of the programme including the employment of Peer Support Workers within Living Well services. 

As part of our ambitious programme to transform specialist services, the Trust has established groups each with a different focus: Eating Disorders; Physical Health; Complex Emotional Relational Needs; Specialist Team and Community Rehabilitation Services. Each group has lived experience representatives involved to ensure that this work is informed by those who have used our services or supported those that have. 

We know that these representatives can’t be the voice of everyone, and so local collaboratives are in place involving mental health services, the voluntary sector, Healthwatch and advocacy services to ensure that local design reflects the specific needs of the local population. 

We spoke to Candice French, Deputy Strategic Lead for Community Transformation Programme, about the benefits of co-production with this work:

The development of local collaboratives to support the design of Living Well services has been an excellent opportunity to ensure the voice of lived experience is front and centre. This has had a significant impact on the culture of the teams in how they work in partnership with people in their community.

The Service User Voice Forum – Our Critical Friend

The Service User Voice Forum To support the Trust on our improvement journey, we have worked with a group of our service users to establish the Service User Voice Forum referred to in our Improvement Plan milestones as Patient Council.

We wanted to recruit people who are passionate about improving mental health services, people who are passionate about representing the voice of others accessing our services and people keen to make good connections with other service users at their local level.

The Service User Voice Forum (the title of the forum decided on by those who make up the group!) will work closely with us to improve services for the service users and communities that we serve.

Those who make up the forum are passionate about reflecting on the experiences of people accessing GMMH. They will act as a critical friend to us and make sure we are listening to and acting on these experiences in line with our commitments in our Together Strategy and Improvement Plan.

As well as coming up with their own name (they weren’t taken with Patient Council), they have co-produced their own Terms of Reference and recently nominated their own Chair and Vice Chair and their Chair will attend the Trust Board to help them keep their focus on service users.

We spoke to Dan Stears, service user and Chair of the Service User Voice forum about why co-production in this way is essential for mental health services:

“Co-Production within mental health services is hugely important for many reasons, it gives the ability to innovate and learn from listening to lots of different experiences of Service Users, Carer and Professionals, which in turn creates an enhanced quality of service that is owned by those that use the service and those that work within it.”

To find out more and get involved with the Service User Voice Forum, email

Co-Production in the North View Development

The construction of our new mental health inpatient unit on the North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) site has been gaining momentum over recent months. This £105.9 million unit will transform the mental health inpatient experience for our service users, their families and our staff. 

The build of a brand-new mental health unit for adults in Manchester is now well underway with an expected completion date scheduled in September and plans for the building to be operational in November 2024. This development will replace the current Park House mental health inpatient unit situated at NMGH. 

The new state-of-the-art unit will see a great improvement to patient experience, with spacious single bedrooms each with private en-suite bathrooms, a variety of indoor activity areas, and multiple outside garden spaces. The modern facilities will utilise the latest technology and therapeutic design, to ensure an environment that is both conducive to recovery and pleasant to live in, work at and visit.

The development won a Design in Mental Health Award in the ‘Service User Engagement’ category in 2022, and co-production has continued to shape everything from the furniture used in patient bedrooms to the digital equipment available to support recovery on the wards.

Throughout the development of proposals and designs for the build, GMMH has engaged with service users, staff, carers and the wider North Manchester community, alongside key stakeholders from the wider health and care system, to ensure it is fit for purpose and all plans are thoroughly informed by and co-created with the communities it will serve.

In addition to experts by experience attending a number of key workstreams across the project, the North View Service User and Carer Reference Group was established in July 2023 to bring together a collective of service users and carers to consolidate our progress. This has allowed us the opportunity to review key decisions that need attention throughout the development of the hospital with people who use our services, their carers and more. The recent addition of Healthwatch Manchester to the group has supported us to amplify the voice of lived experience in the project.

We spoke to Deborah Goodman, Clinical, Operational Lead for the North View Development about why co-production in the project continues to be really important:

“From early in the development of this new build, service users have been important members of the team. They have helped making decisions about the design of the bedrooms, the use of keys, the artwork, even the colour of the plates! We have had service users as members of specific groups, and have engaged with patients on wards over many issues including garden designs, name of the wards, and colour schemes. Over the last year we have been able to discuss our ideas and progress, and be informed by members of the Service User and Carer Reference Group. They have brought a very welcome, diverse range of views  and as we head towards the opening of North View, and beyond, we hope to continue to benefit from their experience.”

You can find out more about this development on our website, which has an area dedicated to the new development.

To get involved with the Service User and Carer Reference Group, email

Join in the conversation!

X (formally Twitter): @GMMH_NHS
Facebook: @GMMentalHealth
Instagram: @gmmh_nhs

Or search the hashtag #CoProWeek

You can learn more about Co-production Week at National Co-production Week 2024 - SCIE.

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

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