Open Letter – joyous updates of jocund joy

Lots of positive news – we all deserve a wild and sustained round of applause and a large slice of cake. Or two.

Positive news item 1. We’ve received a reply from the First Minister – very supportive and encouraging (and long – which we’ve decided is a definitely a good sign!). [Follow this link to read the First Minister’s response.] He’s specifically asked that the ‘co-production community’ (that’s you that is) continue to contribute to on-going policy discussions. Please do! We’ve written back to ask how we can engage more directly with policy developments and offering your massed expertise. [Follow this link to read our letter back to the First Minister.]

Positive news item 2. The First Minister has put us in touch with the Commission for Public Service Governance and Delivery – their remit is to improve public services in Wales, and to make them more sustainable and citizen-focused. They’ve invited us to come and talk to them about how co-production could help. Rick Wilson (WACDS and Community Lives Consortium) and Paul Swann (WACDS and Disability Wales) have offered to lead on that.

Positive news item 3. In relation to the Social Services & Wellbeing Bill, we had a meeting with a senior advisor to the Health Minister and Deputy Health Minister (both of whom are co-pro supporters as you probably know). He was wonderfully positive. His expectation is that co-production will be written in to the regulations. Which would be epic! Although nothing is certain until it’s certain, I think we can at least have that first slice of cake.

Positive news item 4. We followed this up with a letter to the Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas who is responsible for the Bill.  That led to an invitation from Margaret Provis, Deputy Director, Social Services Strategy and Improvement Division. She is working on the wording of the regulations. Rick Wilson and I will be meeting her and some of her colleagues in the next few weeks. [Follow this link to read our letter to the Deputy Minister.]

Positive news item 5. We sent the Open Letter to party leaders as well as to the First Minister and Cabinet and had a swift response from Plaid’s Leanne Wood. Nick Andrews (Swansea University and a dementia-care co-pro revolutionary) and I had a meeting with her and one of her senior advisors last month. She’s a thoroughgoing co-pro fan and has offered her support for the campaign in general and also in relation to our main aim of placing co-pro principles at the heart of our public services.

Positive news item 6. A bit of serendipity… the Welsh Government’s Building Resilient Communities strategy published a couple of days ago makes explicit reference to timebanking (which is a brilliant method of embedding co-production) and to the need for a co-produced approach to service design and delivery by Communities First.

Onwards and upwards! Please keep making your voices heard and spreading the message to anyone and everyone…thank you for everything you have done and are doing to create a co-productive future for Wales.



Appendix 1: response from the First Minister – First Minister reply to AitT 4th June 2013

Appendix 2: our response to the First Minister’s response – AitT reply to First Minister 2nd July 2013

Appendix 3: our letter to the Deputy Minister – AitT letter to Deputy Minister 3th July 2013


About Ruth

UK National Teaching Fellow, Founder of Co-production Wales (All in this Together), co-pro trainer and consultant, working to make co-production 'the way we do things' in Wales. And having a ball!

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