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Workshop Abstracts

The Challenge of Co-Creating a Living Implementation Framework with Evaluation (LIFE) to Deliver Integrated Care at Whole of System Scale in Ireland


Sarah Barry

Centre For Health Policy And Management, Trinity College Dublin, IE
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This workshop will outline, critique and explore existing and new applications of a Living Implementation Framework with Evaluation (LIFE) approach for delivery of system-level integrated care. It emerges from the Irish health system reform context but is relevant for policy makers, researchers and practitioners working collaboratively on systems-scale integrated care delivery internationally.


In the past two-years Ireland has begun a whole-of-system reform process called ‘Sláintecare’ an element of which outlines how six regional health are the mechanism to deliver integrated care on the basis of new patterns of governance, resource allocation and workforce planning. It is imperative these new structures are designed and implemented to ensure an experience of more integrated, responsive care for individuals and communities.

Working formally together as partners, the Department of Health in Ireland, the Sláintecare Implementation Office, the Health Service Executive and a Trinity College Dublin Research Team are developing a Living Implementation Framework with Evaluation (LIFE). A mixed methods approach is used which includes rapid reviews, mapping exercises, documentary analysis, key informant interviews, participant observation, secondary analysis of data and co-design techniques.

This LIFE methodology is expected to be utilized beyond the regional health area implementation process as a significant contribution to understanding what integrated care at scale looks like, and as a dynamic approach to evidence-informed implementation for policy makers, practitioners and researchers alike in the international context.

Workshop Aims and Objectives:

To present the LIFE approach as an innovative methodology that ensures real-time, co-created research-informed policy and practice implementation

Together with workshop participants to identify relevant experience to support our learning, constructively critique the LIFE approach, and identify possible collaborations with others working on systems-level integrated care implementation

To explore further international applications for the LIFE approach

Target Audience:

Implementation science researchers and practitioners

Policy formulators and practitioners responsible for implementing system level integrated care structures and organisational forms

Researchers interested in realist, pragmatic and applied approaches to evidence-informed health systems reform

Learning/Take Away:

Workshop participants will leave with knowledge and experience of the practical and methodological challenges of designing, implementing and evaluating integrated care implementation at a whole-of-systems level with the policy makers and practitioners. They will work with us to constructively critique the approach to ensure a robust peer review in the relevant community of practice.


Using the simple ‘see, judge, act’ rationale for experiential learning the workshop will have three cumulative stages. After introductions and establishing expectations (10 minutes), Sarah Barry and Sara Burke will briefly present the LIFE approach (15 minutes). Working in groups participants will then explore and critique the LIFE principles and methods using specifically designed worksheets (30 minutes). Finally, using the social capital built within the group, both presenters will co-facilitate an interactive in-depth plenary session that captures the learning and gives participants opportunity to synthesize insights and identify opportunities for application in their own context or more broadly (30 minutes). The final five minutes will be used for thanks and concluding remarks.

Preferred length:

90 minutes


How to Cite: Barry S. The Challenge of Co-Creating a Living Implementation Framework with Evaluation (LIFE) to Deliver Integrated Care at Whole of System Scale in Ireland. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):361. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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