Dr Conor Malone, leader of the Spark Innovation Programme and the first HSE National Fellow for Innovation and Change, invited all those attending the conference to share innovation projects from their communities and hospitals.
“Spark offers doctors seed funding for their projects and we help them develop and implement their ideas. Our Spark Ignite innovation competition and national BrightSpark Awards will recognise and reward the creativity and leadership of NCHDs and their nursing, allied health, management and administration colleagues,” he said.
Dr Malone is part of the HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) Unit, which incorporates the Medical Education and Training Unit and Consultant Appointments and Medical Workforce Planning. He himself is an ophthalmic surgery trainee.
He said his brief was to encourage NCHDs to see themselves as influential and powerful agents for change and to share their experiences throughout the country. NDTP now has over 60 lead NCHDs around Ireland.
“This is not just about big clinical sites. GP practices and smaller hospitals across the country are hot houses for change and we want to share their stories of success.
“Doctors have always been innovative. Irish NCHDs are especially so and have a proud history in service development and innovation in treatment and technology. We want to build on that legacy.”
Dr Malone said that Spark has six arms: Spark Conversation, Spark Curiosity, and Spark Debate are about provoking thought and engaging with NCHDs; Spark Seed Funding, Spark Ignite, and the BrightSpark Awards will recognise positive change and put innovative ideas into action. “We are going to hear stories of innovation from national and international doctors, bring a roadshow of workshops around the country, and hold a series of debates on controversial topics and we will help NCHDs bring their ideas to life.
“We are looking to the future, writing position papers on how technology will transform doctor training and consultant workforce planning. Babies born this year will become interns in 2040, so our theme for the year is #NCHD2040. What NCHDs are doing today will have a huge impact on future patients and future doctors – this is why we must value innovation.