For health policies to be effective in practice, they need to be communicated and translated at strategic and operational levels and to be integrated into clinical practice. There is little empirical evidence to understand whether this happens and, if it does, whether it does so effectively. In the present study the views of professional healthcare staff from one service field (child mental health) are explored in order to ascertain their views on the translation of policy into practice through thematic analysis. Key themes of limited awareness, lack of strategic policies and problems in linking evidence carry implications for the development and strategies of policies. The interviews demonstrate that there is limited evidence that policies are being communicated as effectively as they could be, and we make recommendations on how these could be translated and implemented more effectively in the future.