Requirements gathering for Sharing the Vision – Ireland's mental health policy

Requirements gathering for Sharing the Vision – Ireland's mental health policy

Design, Development, Implementation

HSE Mental Health Operations


‘Sharing the Vision’ is a ten-year cross government policy involving 100 recommendations. This project gathered the information required to define the implementation plan.

“The clarity of purpose and skillful application of programme management resources brought by Dave, Pola and colleagues in CES has been invaluable for the HSE team.”
                                                                                                                                                      Derek Chambers, Policy Lead – HSE Mental Health Operations.

The Challenge

Responsible for the implementation of Sharing the Vision – A Mental Health Policy for Everyone, the HSE’s Mental Health Operations was tasked with developing an implementation plan defining how the one-hundred policy recommendations would be delivered. Conscious of the need to consult with numerous stakeholders required to deliver the policy, Mental Health Operations engaged with CES to facilitate the process and support the development of the implementation plan.

What we did

Understand the challenge

“From the outset, CES worked with us and guided us every step of the way in laying the foundations for a highly practical and implementable plan.”                                                                                                                                                                                Derek Chambers, Policy Lead – HSE Mental Health Operations.

The task of implementing a 10-year, cross-government policy involving 100 recommendations represents a complex challenge.

CES, led by Project Specialist Dave Cornwall, devised and delivered a requirements gathering project to identify outputs that stakeholders would deliver to achieve the policy’s one hundred recommendations.

Design the approach

A three-phased approach to requirements gathering was designed:  

  • Phase One was a full review of current health care policy to map other policies that aligned with Sharing the Vision’s recommendations, ensuring synergy with key organisational objectives.  
  • Phase Two involved an audit of relevant activity and service developments across the HSE that aligned to the policy’s recommendations and would support its desired objectives. Their requirements and outputs helped to start forming the implementation plan.
  • Phase Three of the project focused on identifying other stakeholders for recommendations where no owner had been identified, providing an opportunity to define requirements and scope out the outputs to be delivered.

All three phases were successful in gathering the information required to define the implementation plan. Once collected CES continued to work closely with Mental Health Operations and the Department of Health to consult on a draft version with relevant stakeholders and governance groups.

Support progress

Following the launch of the implementation plan in March 2022, CES has continued to be a supportive partner to Mental Health Operations helping them develop programme structures to support oversight and management of this complex ten-year programme.

The Impact

The development and launch of the implementation plan for Sharing the Vision has allowed HSE Mental Health Operations to define how they intend to deliver the policy. It does so by identifying the outputs they intend to deliver to achieve the desired policy outcomes and identifies the milestones to get there. The implementation plan represents a step-change in how Mental Health Operations are approaching the challenge of delivering significant change to services using programmatic methods for implementation.

“We made undoubted progress and can see a clear path towards policy implementation that will ultimately change and improve the way we deliver mental health support for the Irish population.”
                                                                                                                                                      Derek Chambers, Policy Lead – HSE Mental Health Operations.

Project Resources

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The Team

Dave Cornwall

Senior Project Specialist

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