HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention: Request for Proposals

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Request for Proposals:
To undertake a review of existing community response plans to suspected suicides and to produce best practice guidance for the development of future plans

4 April 2019


The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (HSE NOSP) supports, drives and co-ordinates the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Connecting for Life (CfL), Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020 www.connectingforlifeireland.ie. There are 69 actions under seven strategic goals and 22 government departments/agencies have made commitments as lead and/or supporting partners to deliver on these actions. In addition, 17 Local Action Plans, which reflect the national strategy, have been developed across the nine HSE Community Health Organisations. These local action plans are coordinated by 22 HSE Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention.

A number of actions in the CfL strategy (in particular actions 2.2.1 and 3.1.2) focus on the development of guidelines and protocols to assist organisations to work collaboratively in relation to suicide prevention and the management of critical incidents. A national cross sectoral working group has been established to ensure a coordinated approach to this activity. The group will oversee the development of a set of best practice documents to inform the design and implementation of a range of suicide prevention protocols/guidance documents. One of the agreed best practice documents will focus on how to develop and implement a community response plan to incidents of suspected suicide, which this piece of research will form the basis of.

Community response plans to suspected suicides

Postvention responses occur after a suicide and are provided to the family, friends and community of the deceased. They aim to provide support, and alleviate some of the practical stresses and challenges at a time of complicated grief reactions, and the possible elevated risk of suicide to those bereaved.

A pre-agreed community response plan aims to: ensure early support and guidance in the provision of a timely response; provide a co-ordinated response from all relevant sectors of the community, statutory and voluntary agencies to a suspected suicide; assist in the early detection of potentially linked suicides and the prevention of further suicides; and to reflect the needs and co-ordinate the resources of the local community.

The plan also sets out criteria for activating and deactivating the response.

Aim of the review

In Ireland a number of formal community response plans to suspected suicide have been developed and implemented around the country. The aim of this piece of work is to undertake a review of existing community response plans and to produce evidence-informed best practice guidance to support the updating of current plans and the development of future plans.

Objectives of the review

  1. To undertake a review of national and international literature to identify best practice in relation to developing, monitoring and implementing community response plans to suspected suicides. This should include recognising the importance of settings (i.e. school, workplace) and the identification of the core components of a critical incident response plan.
  2. Engage with Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention to review existing community responses to suspected suicide across all nine CHO areas:
    • Using pre-agreed criteria (such as having a documented community response plan, which involves a range of agencies, that has been activated on at least two occasions), select three existing community response plans to assess against best practice and
    • Using a qualitative methodology (such as the critical incident technique) explore key stakeholders’ experiences of activating and deactivating their plans in order to better understand resulting behaviour.
  3. To develop the necessary best practice guidelines, including implementation guidance.
  4. To present the work to Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention (ROSP) and other key stakeholders so as to assist them in updating or developing their own community response plans.


  1. A concise best practice document on multi agency community responses to suspected suicides. This should include developing, implementing and deactivating the plan. It should also provide guidance on aligning existing activities with best practice.
  2. Presentation of the findings to HSE Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention (and other key stakeholders), including clear guidance on how they can develop and implement the plan in their own areas.

Proposed Outcomes

  • Improved development and implementation of consistent community response plans and enhanced service provision to communities and those bereaved by suicide.
  • Improved knowledge of best practice in the area of critical response to suspected suicide.


  • Contract commencement: May 2019.
  • A half day consultation session with Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention will be held in June 2019.
  • The final report and template should be produced by end of September 2019.
  • The presentation to Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention (and other key stakeholders) will take place in Q4 2019-Q1 2020

Regular contact with be maintained with NOSP and a mid-way review meeting will be scheduled.


The maximum budget for the project is €25,000, including VAT and all expenses.

You may need to consider PSWT (Professional Services Withholding Tax) - https://www.revenue.ie/en/self-assessment-and-self-employment/pswt/index.aspx

Proposals will be marked according to the following criteria

  • Quality of Proposal – 70 marks
  • Subject matter expertise – 50 marks
  • Previous experience of conducting this type of work – 50 marks
  • Proposed cost – 30 marks

Submission of proposals

It is a requirement that the following documentation is supplied at this stage of the proposal process. Please follow the numbering sequence outlined below:

  1. Full consultant/organisation name, address, phone/fax number(s), email and registered organisation number.
  2. An outline (no more than 8 pages) should set out how the consultant/organisation would approach all aspects of the work as indicated previously; including methodology to be followed, timelines, cost etc.
  3. Applicants must submit their CV setting out their experience and qualifications.
  4. Provision of an up to date Tax Clearance Certificate

Proposals should be submitted by email to sarah.woods1@hse.ie by 5pm on Friday 19 April 2019.

Sarah Woods
Lead for Strategy Coordination, Quality & Education

National Office for Suicide Prevention
HSE Community Strategy and Planning

T: 01 620 1834
M: 087 3664807
E: sarah.woods1@hse.ie



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