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Measuring Success: Closing the Loop Beyond the Loop…

May 23, 2024

In this blog, Gemma Evans and Johnny Valavanis, who are lived experience partners and members of the Cavendish Square Group’s Safety and Equality in Mental Health Inpatient Services Programme (SEMHIS) Lived Experience Advisory Group, introduce the project they are working on as part of the Measuring Success in Co-Production Programme. They ask for your help in providing insights about co-production from within the mental health sector from a lived experience perspective.

‘Closing the Loop Beyond the Loop: Strengthening Partnership Working in Mental Health with Meta-Co-Production’ is one of the eight projects in the Measuring Success in Co-production programme. This project intends to evaluate the process of co-production within the provision of mental health services. We aim to co-create a 360-degree reflexive evaluation and learning tool which will be useful for organisations who wish to assess and improve their standards of co-production.

As part of this project, we will be shining a light on the lived experience of co-production and what makes it successful, a perspective that is often not considered enough when planning how to go about co-production. Put simply, meta-co-production means co-producing every aspect of co-production, including and especially its evaluation, so that the process retains integrity. By closing this wider loop, focusing on practical real-life experiences, building on Co-Production Collective’s Value of Co-Production Research Project and co-designing a 360-degree reflexive approach to evaluating co-production, we hope to improve collaboration and highlight specific considerations related to co-producing in mental health.

We are taking a multifaceted approach to this work, conducting a literature review which covers the lived and learnt perspectives, as well as talking to people. To help us do this, we are working with our lived experience partners, from the Lived Experience Advisory Group. They have been thinking and sharing their experiences in several ways including through poetry, art, music, 1:1s and a piece of Forum Theatre curated by REBLE (Research Enabled by Lived Experience).    

If you are someone with lived experience of mental ill-health and mental health services, including being a carer or representative, who has experience of co-production related to this, we’d love to hear your views on the following question by Monday 10th June.  

“Thinking about your experiences... what makes co-production successful and meaningful for you, and what should be avoided?”

You can answer this by going to the Slido webpage or scanning the QR code image below. If this is not something that you can answer but know anyone who may be able to help with this, please let them know about it.

We want to enrich this work by inviting people who have lived or living experience of mental ill-health to share their thoughts and experiences of co-production through our Slido, which you can find through the following links:

Meta Project: Capturing Lived Experience of Co-Production (

What we need from you?

We have kept the question intentionally broad so that you can tell us anonymously what matters to you when involved in co-production. You can write as much or as little as you like and answer multiple times should you wish. Once you have submitted your response you will be able to view other people’s anonymous responses. We hope that by collecting this information in this way you will also feel the benefit of seeing what other’s have experienced as well, before we share the results of our work later this year.

Important  information: What we do not want you to share

Please be aware this is a public forum. Do not add a profile or share any personal, sensitive, or identifiable information including your name or if you are writing about other people the names of people you are writing about as this will be viewed by other people visiting this page as well as the project team. Anything that has identifiable information will be deleted by the project team in order to protect people’s privacy.

The project team will not store any personal information.

Please consider Co-Production Collective values of co-production and address the point you wish to make but don’t make it personal.

Please do not click on ‘Voting as Anonymous’ as this requests your personal details which we do not need.

Who should participate?

For this part of the work, we are focusing on the lived experience perspective rather than the providers of mental health services lens, so we are seeking the views of people with lived experience of mental ill-health and mental health services, including carers and representatives, who have experience of co-production related to this.

What should I write?

Feel free to share the good, the bad and the ugly, but please make sure whatever you share does not have any information that could be seen to identify yourself or anyone else involved in what you are sharing. We believe it is important to acknowledge and validate whatever is important to you, and to explore the common pitfalls as well as what constitutes excellent practice, as this is all part and parcel of learning how to do it ‘well enough’ for it to be successful from all perspectives.

What happens to the information shared?

The Slido will be open until Monday 10th June.  We will then gather all the information and feed the learning directly into the lived experience-centred Success Standards (also informed by our wider research) that we are currently co-producing. These standards will act as the benchmark for our 360-degree Reflexive Evaluation & Learning Tool. Check back on the Updates tab of the Measuring Success webpage for further updates on the project. The eventual results of this work will be shared via Co-Production Collective and through the Cavendish Square Group’s Safety and Equality in Mental Health Inpatient Services programme (SEMHIS).

What difference will it make?

We hope this work will make a difference to the way providers of mental health services approach and measure co-production, encouraging a deeper understanding of the practicalities of implementing the values and principles that underpin it from the lived experience perspective, creating a more reflexive, personalised, and ultimately more successful experience for all. This work is lived experience-led, so we have a vested interest in this being more than just another consultation process.

If you have any questions, please email:

Thank you for your interest and collaboration.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Meta Project Team

Photo by Marsha Reid on Unsplash

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