Involving and working with patients and the public to produce relevant research.

Research Leads:

Dr Nadia Brookes, University of Kent, Co-production Theme Lead & Patient Public Involvement Strategic Lead

Co-production Motif
Co-production Showcase
Working with researchers, health and care providers and the local community to co-produce high quality, applied health and social care research.


Co-production brings together researchers, clinicians, practitioners, commissioners and members of the public to work together on research. The aim is to support everyone to work as equal partners with shared responsibility and power. By doing this, we can help make sure we are asking the right questions, do research that can be implemented, and that also meets the needs of our local population. As an ARC, the ‘end of the project’ is when the research findings are implemented, and we work closely with the other ARC themes.

Co-production team

Nadia Brookes, Vanessa Abrahamson, Lisa Richardson, Janice Clarke, Sarah Carpenter

We also have a co-production group to guide our work that includes the people above and Michelle Gardener, Sam Fraser, Kath Sykes and Michelle Farr.

We see co-production as a way of working not a ‘method’ based on a set of shared values. If you want to find out more about this you could start with listening to this panel discussion . It requires a certain way of thinking and there is no one way to do it properly. More information about definitions can be found here.

What we do

We provide information, support and advice

We provide advice and support to individual researchers/projects and take part in information sessions and themed events across the region. As a cross-cutting theme, we aim to support the translation of evidence into practice. 

We aim to create a space for debate and knowledge-sharing, bringing together academics, practitioners and the public to discuss the latest research, insights, and developments in co-production. For example, we host workshops and an annual discussion panel, the first launched in March 2022.

We bring together co-production resources and have also produced some of our own, in the project tabs below.

We learn about co-production

We conduct our own research and are also involved in collaborative research with others, examples include:

Assessing the contribution and impact of co-production of research within ARC KSS project. This work will aim to gain better insight into co-production processes and impact at different stages of the research process and across different areas of focus within health and social care. Case studies will span the ARC KSS themes.

DIGDEM - co-designing a digital tool for people diagnosed with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment. A collaborative project with the Living Well with Dementia and Digital Themes. We will explore the process of co-designing a digital application with people living with dementia and their carers/families and an industry partner.

Communities of Practice (CoP) scoping review and evaluation. A review of the literature on the use of CoPs in health and social care will help inform a project exploring the current and potential role of CoPs in the co-production and implementation of research across ARC KSS.

If you have a personal or professional interest in co-production and would like to talk to us about it, please get in touch.

Current Projects

Systematic reviews for Researchers, Services and Commissioners


The co-production team has produced a guide critiquing a selection of systematic reviews that use co-production in a meaningful way.

The guide includes a section for papers attempting to capture or measure the outcomes of co-produced research or service design. Selected reviews focus on three areas where there are recognised challenges to co-production of research and services: social care for people with cognitive impairment living in the community; end of life care; and children and young people.

This could be a good starting point for researchers wanting to further their understanding of co-production and identify gaps in the literature, both important for strengthening co-produced research outputs within the NIHR ARC KSS.

Download a copy of the Systematic Reviews for Researchers, Services and Commissioners

Co-production case studies: A retrospective review of case studies carried out within the ARC KSS


A guide, part of a series aimed at researchers, service providers and commissioners who are keen to learn about co-production and how to use it in their research has been produced by the NIHR ARC KSS Co-production team, and includes examples of real NIHR ARC KSS case studies.

The guide builds on an earlier version showcasing clear and succinct case studies utilising aspects of co-production and co-design. It is aimed at anyone interested in a participatory approach, whether that be, research, service design or service evaluation, provides a learning platform that will support an individual's own co-production journey, with the hope of inspiring innovative approaches and ways to adapt to their own settings.

Download a copy of the Co-production case studies guide.

Co-Production: Together we are better - a leaflet for the public


ARC KSS has produced a leaflet for services and research teams to use as a way of introducing the key ideas behind co-production to members of the public who may be new to working in this way.

The leaflet is aimed primarily at members of the public looking to get involved in co-production with services and research in the NIHR ARC KSS, but it may also be a useful tool for researchers or health and social care professionals, as a quick reference or introduction.

 Download a copy of the leaflet.

A Guide to Co-production for Researchers, Services and Commissioners


We asked a wide variety of stakeholders what they thought would be helpful in term of promoting co-production within Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The most frequent suggestion was a short guide on what co-production really means and how to differentiate it from patient and public involvement (and other similar terms).

We read through vast amounts of literature, including academic papers, reports and websites to select what we think will be most useful for researchers, services and commissioners. As a result, we produced  A Guide to Co-Production for Researchers, Services and Commissoners  which is intended as an introduction to co-production and its conceptualisation in research and service delivery.

It serves to provide a springboard for researchers, service providers and commissioners enthusiastic to learn about and embed co-production in their work. Within the guide we set out how the co-production theme can support you and signpost useful resources and further reading. By working in partnership with those commissioning, providing or using services, we can ensure that we are asking the right questions and delivering services that meet the needs of the local population. Additionally, we aim to promote outputs that can be implemented locally, are sustainable and become embedded into practice.

We hope this guide helps you to understand the process, why it is important and then to try it out. 

Click here to view the guide.

Assessing Processes and Outcomes of Co-Produced Research


The ARC KSS Co-production team have produced a new guide, Assessing Processes and Outcomes of Co-Produced Research, looking at the evidence for co-production processes and how co-production enhances research and other outcomes. The guide presents a selection of reviews all assessing process and outcomes of co-produced health and social care research, from the last five years. There are clear messages about the facilitators and barriers to involvement, co-design and co-production which are helpful for any researchers involved in co-production.

This guide updates our previous one, Systematic reviews for Researchers, Services and Commissioners which focused on measuring co-production and capturing outcomes with examples of systematic reviews across three areas (older adults, end-of-life care, children, and young people) and included several reviews on the outcomes of co-production.

Click here to view the guide.

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