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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to questions that you might have about the Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services.

The Best Practice Guidance recognises that service user centricity is the corner stone of service delivery. It describes high quality, safe and reliable mental healthcare. It:

  • Creates a basis for improving the quality and safety of mental health services in line with legislation, regulation, rules, codes of practice and best practice.
  • Can be used by service users to understand what high quality and safe mental health services look like. 
  • Can be used in day to day practice by staff to encourage a consistent level of quality and safety across all services.
  • Gives a voice to the service user and encourages collaboration.
  • Seeks to involve service users, family and carers in assessing the quality of the mental health services.
The notion of self-assessment has been adopted by companies (including healthcare organisations) throughout the world as a mechanism for guiding the development of quality activities. It involves regular and systematic reviews of an service’s activities and performance against guidance documents, standards, culminating in planned improvement of actions.
Self assessment allows each mental health service to examine its everyday activities and assess them against the Best Practice Guidance. It facilitates an examination of where they have been, where they are now and where they need to go next. It also allows them to realise what they do well and the areas they need to improve on.
The membership of the self-assessment team should reflect the multidisciplinary approach to providing seamless, integrated care within the service. Membership should be reflective of staff knowledge and experience, not necessarily the position they hold. There should be 6-8 members per self-assessment team, dependant on the size of the service. This team members should consist of:
  • One Consultant Psychiatrist
  • One Service user or carer or family member
  • One Senior Nurse Manager
  • Two to four Health & Social Care Professionals – depending on the service
  • One Site Manager (CNM 2 / CNM 3 / Team Coordinator)
  • One Management / administration staff member
Frequently Asked Questions