The National Clinical Programmes (NCPs) are part of the Office of the Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) in the HSE. The Mental Health Clinical Programmes are a joint initiative between this office, HSE Mental Health Services, and the College of Psychiatry of Ireland (COPI). The overarching aim of the NCPs is to standardise quality evidence based practice across the Mental Health Services. There are five NCPs for mental health all at various stages of design and implementation. These are:
- Assessment and Management of Patients Presenting to Emergency Departments following Self-Harm
- Eating Disorders Service (spanning Child and Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Services)
- Early Intervention in Psychosis
- ADHD in Adults
- Dual Diagnosis (Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder)
NCPs provide a programmatic response with clear care pathways based on evidenced best practice, these are outlined for specific areas of service need. One of the first stages is the development of a model of care with a national working group which includes input from service users, advocacy groups, mental health clinicians, subject experts and the COPI. When a model of care has been developed it is submitted to the COPI who establish a Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) with expertise in the subject area. The CAG considers the clinical components of the of the Model of Care to ensure that what the NCP is recommending is in line with best national and international evidenced based practice. Following approval the model of care is published and an implementation plan agreed. Where programmes are at implementation stage data is collected and this aids decision making on operational matters and further drives service advancements. The NCPs are clinically led services, designed and implemented to provide and improve better clinical outcomes for service users.