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Spark Innovation Programme

Welcome to the Spark Innovation Programme

Innovation means bringing any new, problem-solving idea into use and requires an environment where people are empowered to innovate and put ideas into action. The Spark Innovation Programme is an NCHD-led initiative that encourages healthcare providers to develop and implement their ideas so that we can improve our health service.

National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) established Spark in July 2017 as a national programme to encourage, support and recognise innovation among doctors in Ireland. The programme is now also being supported by the National Quality Improvement Team with the goal of encouraging innovation across our health service.

Spark Innovation Logo 2019 2020

To find out more about the different Spark initiatives, click here to watch our video with thanks to The Department Of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).


The main themes for Spark in 2019-2020 are:

Improving Patient and Healthcare Provider Experience  

As our patient cohort becomes more complex, providing high standards of care becomes more challenging. Frontline members of staff are ideally placed to recognise the issues faced by their patients and colleagues and implement creative solutions to these issues. We want to support projects that make our health service a better place to work and receive care. 

Sustainable Innovation 

With all of the exciting advances in medical technology, we must ensure that innovation is ethical and there is equitable access for all. The Spark Programme wants to encourage projects that promote justice, help tackle health threats such as climate change and take a patient-centred approach.  

Digital Disruption 

Digital medicine will transform the way we deliver care. Harnessing technology will allow us to provide better care but this requires engagement from all stakeholders including doctors. The Spark Programme wants to involve NCHDs in future eHealth initiatives. If you have ideas for how we can use digital technology to optimise care or would like to get involved in our Digital Health Working Group for NCHDs, we would love to hear from you! 


We look forward to meeting you at our workshops, debates, site visits, and other events around the country.

Carpe diem!

Dr Emilie Mahon

Dr Alan Hopkins

National Fellows for Innovation and Change

Email: spark@hse.ie

Twitter: @ProgrammeSpark