It is now two years since the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (FYFV-MH) was published.

In February 2017 NHS England produced the One Year On report which reflected on progress made against the implementation plan.

NSUN is a member of the FYFV-MH Independent Oversight and Advisory Group. We have been keen to see that the intentions set out around involvement and co-production are upheld. Over the last few years we have seen the language of co-production more widely adopted, however the practice has not always followed.

What's been interesting is to hear people talk about the language of 'involvement' as being old fashioned or irrelevant now. Sadly this is often coming from organisations that haven't had the greatest track record of even the most basic of 'good involvement'.

For those who have been involved in 'involvement' for any length of time you will know that without meaningful and effective involvement the vision and intentions of co-production can not be realised.

NSUN lobbied for the 4Pi National Involvement Standards to be included in the FYFV-MH as a main recommendation to underpin the principles and practice of co-production. Although not making it as a recommendation in its own right the framework was included as an example of good practice to draw on.

At the last meeting we raised our concerns about a proposal to change the specific recommendation on 'Co-production evaluation' NHS England should work with NHS Improvement to run pilots to develop evidence based approaches to co-production in commissioning by April 2018 (FYFV-MH p73). This was based on the realisation that this would be difficult to achieve.

Instead of changing the goal posts we challenge services and commissioners to change to really embrace the principles of  co-productions, to develop equal partnerships between people who use services, carers and professionals.

See TLAP's (Think Local, Act Personal) Ladder of Co-production here.