NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers the mental wellbeing of older people (65 years and over) receiving care in all care home settings, including residential and nursing accommodation, day care and respite care. This quality standard uses a broad definition of mental wellbeing, and includes elements that are key to optimum functioning and independence, such as life satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem, feeling in control, having a purpose in life, and a sense of belonging and support [NHS Health Scotland (2006) Mental health improvement programme, background and policy context].