Skip to content

Q logo

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there seems to be an increasing ability for organisations and decision makers at a “system” level to see past the barriers to working collaboratively with communities and community based organisations and work effectively together. This has been manifest to a greater or lesser extent in a number of emerging projects locally, including the amplification of local voices during:

– The co-design of a new pathway for mental health crisis support;

– A joint initiative to deliver locally against the national Healthy Holidays funding for low income families;

– Collaborative work across sectors around health inequalities in relation to diabetes.

(quotes / data to be added to support these)

What does your project aim to achieve?

This project sets out to focus on the positive changes seen across Sheffield in relation to co-production and public engagement, especially at a voluntary and community level, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is with a view to understanding how these changes can be maintained at a local and national level so that recommendations can be made for next steps.

This project aims to work across Sheffield City Region to capture the essence of what is making these positive changes successful, and work with local partners to c0-design ways to extend and build on this good practice. Our experience suggests that placing marginalised people and communities in positions of greater influence within health care infrastructure can lead to reductions in health inequalities. We think that by hearing directly from people and organisations what has gone well in this context, we’ll be able to help catalyse more successes.

How will the project be delivered?


Co:Create have between us 30+ years experience using co-production mindset and methods to evaluate and shape change. We’ve recently been working across England with primary care networks and we’d love to bring some of this experience back to Sheffield where we live, use it to fertilise some of the great things happening locally and share the learning via Q.


Co:Create aim to consolidate some of our recent learning from work across Primary Care and communities in Cornwall, Morecambe Bay, Leicester and Sheffield, using realist evaluation and co-design principles to establish a detailed understanding of what’s happened and what could come next.


Open questions widely distributed via a range of media / options for completion to establish broad themes and identify potential interviewees.


10 – 15 semi-structured interviews to be conducted remotely with a representative sample of people / roles / organisations involved or affected.


Remote workshop(s) to develop themes into workable concepts.

How is your project going to share learning?

The project will benefit from Co:Create’s work nationally with NHS England exploring the use of co-production and asset based community development in primary care networks. We plan to apply some of the innovations we’ve tested and developed in that work to this project, so the learning we develop and share will include not only what we find within this project, but our wider work and recent experience.

We will share learning by offering:

Hosted group sessions sharing the themes and learning from our project, including recommendations for those planning similar work

1:1 or smaller group remote sessions for those interested who would like to explore aspects of the project for use in their own work

Interactive webinar(s) via the NHS England Engagement Practitioners Network

Feeding in our learning to Sheffield based DfE Health Holidays development work hosted by Voluntary Action Sheffield


  1. Just to add to my earlier comments, you might want to check out the idea, 'Harnessing learning from staff experiences of QI during COVID-19' as they too are seeking to capture the positive a broad picture of positive innovations (as opposed to the innovations with a specific service.)

  2. Hi Chris,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience will help us to help others, as their ideas take shape.

    I too feel that there have been some great examples of cross-system working which has somehow been made possible through COVID-19. I will look for opportunities to link you with other ideas with similar intent. In the meantime, it did strike me that the approach you are taking is akin to an Appreciative Inquiry approach, so you may be interested in the idea: 'Developing sustainable community workforce solutions: Enhancing palliative care in hospital' as their approach is very much about learning what innovation has happened and sharing this learning. Have a look and see what you think, perhaps it might be worth commenting on their approach and vice versa?  Either way, best of luck with taking your idea forward.


    1. Thanks Peter - really grateful for the interest and suggestions. I'm pleased that you read Appreciative Enquiry into my description as that is a fundamental aspect of the approach I want to take.

Leave a comment

If you have a Q account please log in before posting your comment.

Read our comments policy before posting your comment.

This will not be publicly visible

Please note that you won't be able to edit or delete comments once posted.