About the NCPs

Clinical leadership is central to the delivery of the changes required by our healthcare system. National Clinical Programmes (NCPs) are the vehicle through which multi-disciplinary clinical design leadership and innovation are enabled. Since their inception in 2010, the National Clinical Programmes have been a key transforming force in delivering change and continue to play a strong role in supporting the transformation that is required in healthcare. 

The work of the National Clinical Programmes needs to be aligned to HSE priorities and to respond to the principles of Sláintecare.  In line with Goal 2 of the Sláintecare Implementation Plan the NCPs support the design of models of care to ensure high quality, accessible and safe care that meets the needs of the population.  The NCPs should be the primary reference point for providing cross-service and cross programme solutions in relation to;

  • New models / pathways of care based on population need
  • Clinical components of community-based care expansion
  • Acute and Unscheduled Care Development
  • Integrated end to end models of care

Key to the success of the National Clinical Programmes is the close collaboration between the HSE and the postgraduate training bodies, and working in partnership with patients, nursing and therapy leads, and with the Department of Health. Each of the NCPs has a Clinical Lead, a Programme Manager, multi-disciplinary working groups and a Clinical Advisory Group. Having a wide range of clinicians involved means that the proposed solutions will be more robust in their conception, and will be better accepted by colleagues at implementation.

Quick Facts about the National Clinical Programmes

  • Designing of models of care, clinical pathways and guidelines form the core work of all programmes
  • The programmes have developed innovative, efficient and evidence based solutions that can be applied on a national basis across the health system
  • NCPs are involved in the development of key national policy strategies such as the;

- National Dementia Strategy

- National Cancer Strategy

- National Stroke Strategy, etc.

Several NCPs have developed national guidelines published as National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) guidelines. These include;

National Early Warning Scores by the NCP for Acute Medicine

- NCEC Guideline No 6: Sepsis

- Management of acute asthma attack in adults

- Management of constipation in adults receiving palliative care

- Irish Maternity Early Warning Scores

- Paediatric Early Warning Scores