104-659 / National Mental Health Services Collaborative (NMHSC)

Organisation sharing the GOP
Related practices from PaSQ database
Mental Health Commission


Quality improvement project
Professional learning program on quality and safety

GOP Description
Implementation level
Clinical settings
There was a diverse set of sites in mental health services, covering inpatient, community, adults, children, urban and rural communities.
1.     Implement an evidence approach to care planning
2.    involve service users & carers
3.    generate key change ideas & utilise data collection tools
4.    Fulfil statutory requirements
5.     Implement standards – Quality Framework
6.    Evaluate the process.
7.    Develop & implement a spread strategy
Mental Health Services
The NMHSC adopted a model of collaborative learning developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), whose aim is to improve health care by supporting change. The Breakthrough Series is designed to assist organisations create a structure in which interested organisations can learn from each other and from experts in topic areas where they want to make improvements. A Collaborative is as a short-term learning system that brings together a large number of teams to seek improvement in a focused topic area. As far as we are aware this was the first time this methodology has been used within an Irish mental health care setting. The ‘Breakthrough Collaborative Approach’ adopts an inclusive approach that ensures service users, carers, clinicians and health professionals are involved throughout the entire process and the learning component of the collaborative provide opportunities for capacity building in relation to sustaining and spreading innovations in health care.
Timeframe implementation
18 months
Implementation tools available
During the course of the collaborative, several datasets were collected by local project groups and shared nationally.
Statistics as to the numbers of care plans issued, and the proportions demonstrating service user and/or carer involvement
A written questionnaire, completed by service users, administrated with the support of the Irish Advocacy Network. The instrument was developed specifically in consultation with service users and clinical leads.
A self-assessment survey of team functioning, completed by local project team members
Self-assessment ratings against the “Pillars of Recovery Service Audit Tool”
Implementation cost
Method used to measure the results
Independent Evaluation
An evaluation report presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the National Mental Health Services Collaborative (NMHSC).
Analysis of the results
There was strong and influential service user and carer involvement. This evaluation has found that the NMHSC made progress towards its objectives. No unusual features emerged about the Irish context which suggest that an approach differing from the established IHI model would be more likely to succeed; indeed, the importance of closer compliance with the IHI model has emerged more strongly from this experience.
Implementation barriers
Did you find implementation barriers?
Please describe implementation barriers
The NMHSC was also founded on a series of compromises, in the sense of departures from the IHI Breakthrough model which enabled it to happen at all. These were:

The diversity of the sites
The use of non-volunteer sites
The emphasis on multidisciplinary, rather than medical leadership

Describe the strategies used to overcome the barriers (If needed)
Shortened learning set.
Other information
Other information about the GOP that you would like to add (Link or attached document)
An evaluation report presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the National Mental Health Services Collaborative (NMHSC).