Overview of Best Practice

The Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services is divided into a suite of 5 themes.


T1: Recovery Oriented Care and Support

How mental health services place adults and children at the centre of what they do. This includes protecting service users’ rights, respect for diversity, and promotion of access, advocacy, connections with family and community. It is about a partnership approach to recovery.

T2: Effective Care and Support

How mental health services deliver the best possible service, to achieve the best possible outcome for service users in a meaningful and individualised way.

T3: Safe Care and Support

How mental health services protect service users, staff and visitors from the risk of harm. This involves identifying, assessing and monitoring risk and taking appropriate action to learn from any adverse incidents.

T4: Leadership, Governance and Management

How mental health services make decisions; how risks are managed; how the service is governed, led and managed; where accountability lies for the quality, safety and satisfaction of service users, for the care delivered; and how strategic, regulatory and financial obligations are met.

T5: Workforce

How mental health services plan, organise, lead, train, develop, motivate and manage their workforce to achieve service objectives for high quality, safe and reliable mental health care.


How the Guidance assists in identifying what is a high quality, recovery oriented, effective, safe and reliable Mental Health Service.

The Best Practice Guidance determines what constitutes a high quality, recovery oriented, effective, safe and reliable mental health service. The Best Practice Guidance is divided into five Themes.

Each of the five Themes are described in terms of Aims. The Aims are supported by a number of Indicators and Features. Each mental health service establishes a self assessment team, which assesses themselves against the features in each Indicator. The self assessment team then makes a decision about their level of achievement with each Indicator.