Can Co-production Really Transform UK Mental Health Services? Or Can We Play Happy Families in a Haunted House?

13 December 2017, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm


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Medawar Building G01 Lankester LT, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT

Speaker:  Professor Sarah Carr, University of Middlesex

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Abstract: Dr Sarah Carr, Associate Professor of Mental Health Research, Middlesex University London and Vice-Chair National Survivor User Network (NSUN)

This seminar provides an opportunity to critically examine the concept of co-production in mental health at a time when NHS England is saying that "co-production is for the whole NHS". We will look at the fate of several revolutionary mental health reform ideas originating with the service user and survivor movement and ask if 'transformative co-production' can be achieved in mainstream mental health services.

We will examine evidence on what happened to user-defined empowerment, personal recovery, user participation and choice and control through direct payments once they were implemented into the mainstream. Using this evidence base and the haunted house analogy, critical questions will be asked about the effects of the legacy of old institutional cultures and control mechanisms for achieving co-production in mainstream mental health services.