Spark - FAQs and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Spark Innovation Programme? 

The Spark Innovation Programme is a national initiative that aims to encourage healthcare providers to think of themselves as creative and inventive. It provides HSE staff with the resources needed to implement change from the frontline.

An overview of the Spark Programme is available in our Factsheet or in this information video which was made with the help of the Department of Expenditure and Public Reform.

Why is the Spark Innovation Programme important? 

The HSE faces increasing challenges in delivering high standards of care to the people of Ireland. The Spark Innovation Programme recognises that frontline staff such as NCHDs are ideally placed to identify problems and implement creative solutions to improve the way that care is delivered. We believe that our staff are our most important resource and are delighted to be able to empower them to deliver real and meaningful change.  

Who runs Spark? 

The Spark Innovation Programme is led by the National Fellows for Innovation and Change, Dr Alan Hopkins and Dr Emilie Mahon, with support from the National Quality Improvement Team and National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP).  

Who can attend Spark events? 

All healthcare staff are welcome to register for Spark events. 

How can I contact the Spark team? 

Dr Alan Hopkins, Dr Emilie Mahon and the Spark team make regular site visits across the country - please come and talk to us at events, we are always delighted to talk to those with an interest in innovation!    


Twitter: @ProgrammeSpark 

Hashtag: #sparkinnovation  

If you would like Alan and Emilie or a member of the Spark team to speak about the programme and the importance of health innovation at an event, please email and we will do our best to attend! 


The Innovation Thinking Canvas is a framework that can be used to guide innovation and problem-solving. 

Observatory of Public Service Innovation – Toolkit Navigator

The Observatory of Public Service Innovation (OPSI) have collated a compendium of toolkits for public sector innovation and transformation. The toolkits provide various frameworks and approaches for idea generation, problem-solving and design.

Toolkit navigator website:

Liberating Structures 

Liberating Structures is a collection of versatile (and fun) techniques to help people express their creativity and get conversations flowing: 

HSE Liberating Structures events and resources: 

HSE Liberating Structures user group on Twitter: @lsusers 

Official Liberating Structures website: 

Health Services Change Guide

The Health Services Change Guide is a step by step guide that will help you to lead and bring about change. It features helpful and practical advice from practitioners, leaders, service users and staff. You will also find evidence to back-up the approach. 

Health Services Change Guide Website: 

Contact details:  

The Change Hub is an online portal that supports all staff to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to approach change in a way that improves the prospect of a good outcome for all involved. It is available for all HSE staff on (registration required).