The Power of Co-production in Shared-decision Making to Craft Winning Strategies

The sharing of experiences using co-production and patient centered approaches offer valuable insight towards international covid-19 responses. As far back as health administration has existed, researchers, policy makers, managers, and practitioners have held the sole rule of decision making impacting whole communities. The implementation of collaborative processes that includes individuals, communities, in addition to care teams aims to provide a more patient centered approach to healthcare. This patient centered approach will allow patients and their communities to have more of a say in the delivery of their care. The necessity for this collaboration has never been more important than right now, battling the covid-19 pandemic. 

Co-production is a powerful framework, but without the proper organizational structure, procedures, and the support of community providers, this collaboration cannot take place. Co-production calls for the acceptance of all ideas being proposed and the round table approach to knowledge sharing. The use of co-production is being seen increasingly throughout process improvement teams. Mostly we see knowledge sharing between end users like patients and their providers as well as policy makers in order to identify a problem and produce a solution together that is mutually beneficial. All while sharing the responsibility and solution making power.

The purpose of co-production is to spark a realization that community involvement can improve health and well being and make policy initiatives more sustainable. “By embedding principles of equity, dignity, respect, and trust in communication among different stakeholders, co-production can also enhance the accountability and person centredness of health systems.” 

As an example of co-production in action, goShadow partnered with The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. We engaged clinical and non-clinical staff at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 to take a pulse of employee sentiment related to the Trust’s support services and communication efforts–what’s going well and what could be improved. The Trust utilized staff feedback and data from the first COVID-19 debrief to prepare for the second surge of COVID-19 in summer 2021. The same method was followed in summer 2021 with additional opportunities for teams to debrief and for individuals to participate in listening sessions with Trust leadership. Through survey design and data analysis, key learnings were aggregated and integrated into new ways of providing patient care and staff support--psychologically, emotionally, and operationally. 

In 2021 over 400 individuals and 58 teams responded to our survey and were happy to express their ideas, feedback, and thoughts for improvement. Staff suggestions can be aggregated into three pillars to focus improvement towards. Those pillars are communication, safety, and support. Our data provides valuable insight towards the processes that are working properly, as well as those that need some work according to staff. 

  • Create a plan for supportive and flexible work arrangements for clinical and administrative staff. 
  • Improve access to and utilization of educational and training resources regularly and preferably in teams.
  • Increase accessibility and organize regular discussion of care policies and procedures across Trust facilities.
  • Determine the communication method(s) that reaches the most people and conveys information as they’d like to receive it.
  • Regularly provide opportunities for all staff to share their voice and be heard, especially within their teams. Listen to and act upon the results at a local and organizational level. Utilize their voices to drive patient outcomes and experiences, staff wellbeing, and quality improvement initiatives.
  • Increase regular and authentic visibility of managers and senior leaders and provide explanation and the “why” of decisions where possible. 
  • Provide 5-10 minutes of physical or psychological breaks in between meetings.
  • Focus on simple yet meaningful wins and determine the feasibility of heavier lifts. Develop action plans and communicate to staff why certain suggestions cannot be done at this time.

Creating an environment that empowers individuals enables buy-in from stakeholders and staff as well as opportunities for the co-production of sustainable solutions. GoShadow tools can help you and your organization develop a co-production strategy that will better serve your community and improve health policy across your organization. Contact us for a free consultation to assess your organization's needs and how co-production tools can help.


Turk, E., Durrance-Bagale, A., Han, E., Bell, S., Rajan, S., Lota, M. M. M., Ochu, C., Porras, M. L., Mishra, P., Frumence, G., McKee, M., & Legido-Quigley, H. (2021, February 16). International experiences with co-production and people centredness offer lessons for covid-19 responses. The BMJ. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from 

Back to Blog

Posted on

June 3, 2022