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About us

The Spark Innovation Programme is a frontline, staff-led initiative that seeks to support, promote and recognise innovation amongst healthcare staff. The Health Services People Strategy 2019-24 sets out a vision of an exceptional employee experience that engages talent, and nurtures the leadership capability of individuals and teams working together to deliver safer, better healthcare. Spark exemplifies this vision throughout its activities.

The Spark Innovation Programme was initially established as a national programme to empower and engage doctors at the beginning of their careers. The opportunity to develop ideas is central to keeping staff engaged and inspired. This makes it easier to recruit and retain the high quality graduates of our world class medical education system. However, Spark is not just about successful ideas, but also about shared learning and creating an empowering work environment for healthcare professionals to bring their creativity, imagination, problem solving skills, love of design, and passion for the wellbeing of patients.

The power of this vision has seen Spark expand in recent years to include all healthcare professionals, and every employee of the HSE. This has been achieved with thanks to partnerships and ongoing support from the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD), National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP), and the National Health & Social Care Professions Office (NHSCPO).

In addition to supporting innovation practice through funding calls, new initiatives, events and training opportunities, the programme also offers clinical staff the opportunity to undertake a fellowship programme.

Each year, the programme recruits clinicians from across the health service to:

  • join the team
  • learn about innovation in healthcare
  • contribute to research
  • develop their own professional skills in areas such as intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship, business and design

The Spark Innovation Programme is committed to implementing design principles and innovation methodologies to deliver better healthcare for all. The programme leverages the intrinsic motivation of frontline healthcare workers to become active agents of change. With the support of the programme, they successfully design, develop and deploy novel solutions to complex challenges for their patients, their colleagues and the health service at large.

The team

Jared Gormly, Head of Spark Innovation Programme

Caitriona Heffernan, Spark Programme Lead

Dr Emily Wallace, National NCHD Innovation Fellow

Dr Bobby Tang, National NCHD Innovation Fellow

Dermot Burke, National HSCP Innovation Fellow

Michelle Howard, National HSCP Innovation Fellow

Catherine Marsh, National Nursing & Midwifery Innovation Fellow

General enquiries