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Supporting change that lasts in mental health services in Ireland


In 2014 the HSE Mental Health Division engaged CES to establish a Programme Management Office. The PMO was set up to provide a structured, sustainable framework to support transformational change in mental health services. CES recruited a small, multidisciplinary team located within the HSE Mental Health Division.

Governance structures, use of evidence, engaging with service users and recognising that everyone has a part to play in service improvement were important aspects of the work. A Mental Health Change Board was set up to authorise new projects and make decisions about resources.

The partnership with CES has been very successful and they have been supportive in developing the HSE Mental Health project management methodology, providing training and ongoing support for staff so that they can plan, implement and close their projects.
(Yvonne O'Neill, Head of Performance, Contracting and Improvement in Community Operations, HSE.)

Our role

Building capacity for change within services was a critical part of CES’s approach. CES developed, designed and customised methodologies, training, tools and resource templates based on evidence and the needs of services. This means that new approaches are sustainable as the partnership draws to a close.

Over the lifetime of the partnership CES worked with services on projects which address a range of complex needs in mental health services. The new governance approach has been adopted as the preferred way of working. This service improvement approach will also inform change in the delivery of community health services. All of these developments support the professionals who design and deliver services, and will ultimately benefit people using services, their families and carers, and the professionals who design and deliver services.