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Supporting the implementation of National Clinical Guidelines


Clinical guidelines are developed to improve the health and safety of patients. The Department of Health has published National Clinical Guidelines in Ireland to support decision making in palliative care, various forms of cancer and MRSA. While guidelines are informed by the best available evidence and strong quality criteria, it can be challenging to implement them in practice. Research studies have looked at what prevents guidelines from being put into practice, and some approaches which can support their implementation. Tools, training and resources can help. Involving clinical staff in planning implementation is critical.

Our Role

In 2017, CES worked with the Department of Health and the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) who oversee National Clinical Guidelines. Our role involved supporting implementation of the Guidelines. We ran a series of workshops and training sessions for clinical and senior staff, to engage and support them with implementation. We produced an Implementation Guide and Toolkit which contains a range of tools, all adapted to meet the needs of staff involved in clinical guidelines and the context in which they work. The Guide and Toolkit were launched in September 2018.

This is a very practical and useful resource. Implementation focuses on operationalising a plan – it is about 'how' something will be carried out, as well as 'what' will be carried out. In the end, real change is more likely to happen when we provide those at the centre of the change process the necessary tools to facilitate the change process. (Professor Karen Ryan, Chair of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee)

We continue to work with the Department of Health to support implementation of the guidelines.

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