Testing an Inverted Citizens' Inquiry: The Challenge of Care at Home 

Jam and Justice chose to work with people who can influence care at home (including social care commissioners) to test how we make design and decisions more participatory.  We wanted to test a policy development ‘method’ that engages on an emotional and practical level as well as technical or commissioning one.

Download the report from our Care at Home Inquiry, and find out what happened next:

About the Inquiry:

Evidence and policy suggests that including a wide network of expertise, particularly those with lived experience of needing care at home for themselves or family members, and giving voice and agency to people who receive care, alongside exploring the emotional aspects of health, can create produce better services.  “Better services” in this context means for the person (their outcomes), the tax payer (more cost effective), and society (more inclusion, greater equity and the nurturing of community assets), by dealing with the whole person.  This includes seeing individuals not as a ‘patient’ but a person rooted in their social context (place, family, the things that make them feel most alive and happy).Yet too often the outcomes for particularly older people are not good. There is a significant lack of properly connected services to enable often very vulnerable people stay safe, connected and well at home, or return home after a hospital stay. The challenge, given our aging population is huge, and the costs increasing. New approaches are urgently needed. Our suggested approach is a model of collaborative service redesign, using the principles of the citizen Inquiry, but inverting it. In the usual model, the citizens hear from ‘expert’ witnesses, and are able to ask them questions, over a number of sessions before a report with citizen led recommendations is produced.
Our ‘Inverted Citizen’s Inquiry’ worked in a similar but different way.  Our Inquiry members were technical specialists, professionals and the usual ‘experts’, who heard from citizen witnesses. We wanted to learn if new forms of facilitated deliberation create more open decision-making processes or challenge the hard boundaries between people’s personal and professional roles, or ways of understanding a complex topic like care at home. The lessons can now inform other areas of policy development.

This Jam and Justice project was premised on the idea that the expertise in this policy area is ‘unbalanced’ and needs re-balancing.  We see a need for both a professional, detached, specialist viewpoint, balanced by a rounded, holistic, and emotionally connected perspective. Both are needed; aspects are currently missing. Our ‘Inverted Inquiry’ members were drawn from across a range of relevant professions (OTs, nurses, GPs, social workers, carers, etc.) and at different levels of professional hierarchies.  We aimed to recruit as diverse and wide a group as possible.  Facilitation aimed to help people enter the conversation as citizens or not dominated by their professional roles.   Partly the Inverted Inquiry aimed to see if we can re-mould conventional power hierarchies (where they inhibit creativity and new thinking) and get people into this space on an equal footing, open to new inputs.

More on this project

To find out more about the ‘usual’ Citizen Jury model that we adapted, see the review of citizen-led deliberation processes produced by Shared Future, who helped to facilitate this project. Also the testimonies of citizens and professionals who were involved in one of Shared Future’s inquiries into community orientated primary care in Blackpool.

If you have questions about this Jam and Justice project, email our ARC members: Jez Hall, Andrew Burridge and Liz Richardson.

News, events and blog

Deliberative Commissioning: an overview of the event in the Engine Room at the People's History Museum, Manchester

As part of Jam & Justice's National Co-Production Week programme, Shared Future CIC facilitated an afternoon workshop at the People’s History Museum, exploring the role of so-called “mini publics”, with a particular focus on Health and Social Care.

28 organisations were represented, with a mix of local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, and voluntary, community and social enterprises.

The case studies presented included: 

More than sixty people gathered at the Ziferblat event space in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to celebrate the publication of the report, How can we govern cities differently? The promise and practices of co-production.

Photograph of deliberative session from the Care at Home Inquiry with logos


In April 2019, the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership (GMHSC) hosted a feedback event to look at how recommendations from our Care at Home Inquiry inform the shape of their Transformation programme.

An Evening with Jam and Justice - How can we govern cities differently? (Banner image)
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 17:30 to 20:00
Ziferblat, Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW

The Jam and Justice Action Research Collective will be sharing what we have learned and celebrating the outcomes of our projects in Greater Manchester.

A circle of people participate in Jam and Justice's Care at Home Inquiry, plus a composite of sponsors logos - Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, NW ADASS, Shared Future CIC and Jam & Justice
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 13:00 to 17:00
People's History Museum

Person-centred approaches in co-producing health and social care policy

Beth Perry (left) presents at the English Co-Production Network event. Slide (right) shows the covers of different outputs from Jam and Justice's ARC projects.

On 28 March 2019, people with a passion for co-producing gathered in central Manchester to explore the potential for an English Co-Production Network. The event was organised by Co:Create, a Sheffield-based outfit linked to South Yorkshire Housing Association and funded by the Department of Health to support co-production in commissioning.

Care at Home - the cover of the report showing an image from the inquiry

What would it take to help people to have a good life at home for as long as they choose?--

What would it take for people to live a good life at home for as long as they choose?

This was the central question for The Care at Home Challenge, a citizens’ inquiry coordinated by Shared Future CIC on behalf of the Jam & Justice Action Research Collective.

The Inquiry into Care at Home (group seated in circle)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 16:00 to 19:00
Mechanics Institute, M1 6DD

Shared Futures CIC and the team behind Jam and Justice's Care at Home Inquiry launch the report.

Caring professionals, politicians, commissioners and campaigners are all invited to come to the launch and hear how the inverted citizens inquiry responded to the question:

“What would it take to help people to have a good life at home for as long as they choose?"

One of Jam and Justice's action research projects is now calling for participants to join an inquiry into care at home. 

Evidence and policy suggests that better services are delivered when a wide network of expertise is drawn into policy development, particularly from those with lived experience of needing care at home for themselves or family members. 

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:30
Manchester Central Library

Devolution promised to open up new opportunities for community engagement and empowerment, shifting power from Whitehall to the Townhall. One year on since the election of Andy Burnham as Mayor of Greater Manchester, Jam and Justice's Action Research Collective are hosting a debate in Manchester Central Library to discuss the changing horizons of collective decision-making in Greater Manchester.