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The development of Health Services Executive Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services in Ireland

Authors:Linda Moore

Abstract The Health Services Executive Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services are being introduced to assist in the development and implementation of appropriate practices and guide continuous quality improvement in mental health services across Ireland.These guidance are based on legislation and best available evidence, developed in consultation with service users, family and carers and staff.They set out the key principles of quality and safety that should be applied in any mental health setting.In striving to deliver quality care across a mental healthcare system, assessing against these HSE Best Practice Guidance forms the foundation for services to improve quality and create an impetus for change.Having best practice guidance for mental health services implies the need to self-assess against them in order to identify good practice and areas where improvement can be made. They provide an opportunity for mental health services to get a shared understanding of the quality of care being provided in their area.The Quality & Service User Safety (QSUS) department within the HSE Mental Health Division developed the Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services. The QSUS team was established with a focus on examining current practice in mental health services and supporting these services to provide safe, effective and high quality care services.The development of HSE Best Practice Guidance commenced in May 2016, in consultation with service users, carers, family, advocacy groups and staff from mental health services, so that they can be implemented in all mental healthcare services, settings and locations. The project was supported by a steering and a project group, consisting of experts by profession or lived experience.The Best Practice Guidance will support services with the implementation of the, Mental Health Act, Approved centre Regulations 2006 and the Mental Health Commission Quality Framework and the Judgement Support Framework. The areas covered by the guidance are considering all other national and international evidence and reviews, regulations, codes, rules and policies.The HSE Best Practice Guidance for mental health services aims to provide a roadmap for improving the quality, safety and reliability of mental health care services in Ireland.Methodology for standards development: The development of the Health Services Executive Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services has three phases to their development.Phase 1. A literature review was completed. The development of draft guidance informed by the steering and project group. An online Self-Assessment Tool is being developed. A Public consultation process was held in August 2016.Phase 2. Piloting the Draft guidance and Self-Assessment tool. There were four Pilot sites across Ireland. Training was provided to the teams prior to the pilots.Next Steps Phase 3. Post Pilot review and roll out of project nationally. This includes launch of the best practice guidance, training of staff, development of a range of support documents and a phased approach to implementation.


standards, mental health, quality improvement, regulation

How to Cite:

Moore L. The development of Health Services Executive Best Practice Guidance for Mental Health Services in Ireland. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A14.

DOI: on 17th October 2017