Best Practice Guidance


What is the Best Practice Guidance?

This Best Practice Guidance tells us what we need to do to make sure that children and adults in the care of our mental health services, receive a high quality, safe service that meets their needs.

The principles within the guidance document are reflective of the current mental health quality and safety agenda, mental health legislation and service user expectations.

The document provides a basis for better governance in planning and managing services, measuring improvement, identifying and addressing gaps, areas of concern or deterioration in the quality and safety of the services provided. It consists of best practice guidance, checklists and a self assessment framework, which are intended to support and guide further quality improvement within mental health services. The document should not sit apart from other quality developments, but should be seen as a part of the on-going quality improvement reforms within mental health services and the wider health services.

This Best Practice Guidance is a practical tool and is based on legislation and best available evidence. It has been developed in consultation with staff, service users, families and carers. It is one composite document that includes:

• The Mental Health Act (2001) as amended, Statutory Instruments, Rules, Regulations and Codes of Practice.

• The Mental Health Commission Quality Framework (2007).

• The Mental Health Commission Judgement Support Framework (2017 Version 4).

• Other National legislation and HSE policies and procedures.

• National and International Best Practice.

It sets out the key principles of quality and safety that should be applied in any mental health setting. It is informed and underpinned by the principles of recovery, which encompasses personal recovery as something worked towards and experienced by the person with mental illness and, clinical recovery, which is the contribution made by healthcare staff in supporting and facilitating the person in their journey towards recovery.

We are asking our mental health services to assess themselves against this guidance in order to identify both good practice and areas where improvements can be made. The result of the self assessment will provide an opportunity for mental health services to acquire a shared understanding of the quality of care being provided and the further improvements that need to occur in providing a quality, safe and effective service.

Direct components of the Mental Health Commission Judgement Support Framework, Mental Health Act 2001 and relevant rules and Codes of Practice have been taken from these documents to support services to meet the regulatory requirements.