Design in Mental Health 2018 event preview

Making a tangible difference

Supporting the goal of ‘zero suicides’

With Mersey Care CEO, Joe Rafferty, committing to eliminating suicides among people in his care, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, setting out plans to cut inpatient suicides to zero, and mental health charity, Mind, saying ‘suicides are not inevitable’, Safehinge Primera says it recognises its role as a product design engineering company in helping to reduce the risk.

The company said: “Our team has adopted the mindset of eliminating ligature risk from bedroom doors, and at DIMH 2018 we will showcase two products that support this ambitious goal. Clinical staff told us that the en-suite door was the biggest risk because it is unsupervised. While our award-winning en-suite door with no known ligature points addressed that, it simply moved the ligature risk to the bedroom door, so we set out to address this.

“Again, doortop alarms simply move the

ligature risk to another part of the door – like the latch or threshold. We thus developed our full door alarm, to notify staff of abnormal loads anywhere on the door. This will be launched in Solihull. Both products will be showcased on our stand, alongside a new handle – aesthetically designed to reduce the metalwork on the door. Visit our stand to find out more about our ‘Target Zero’ campaign (see also pages 31-33).”

The Design in Mental Health Network (DIMHN) works ‘to bring together people who use, work in, visit, or design, mental health buildings and products, to deliver better designs for mental healthcare environments’. Chair, Jenny Gill, said: “Our vision is mental healthcare provided in environments that bring hope, and are comfortable, therapeutic, and appropriate to those who use them. We work collaboratively across the health and social care sectors, and invite engagement from everyone with a real interest in improving mental healthcare through design.

“While our first workstream was the Better Bedroom, we now have a number of ‘streams’ looking at areas including Research & Education – for instance on the impact of the patient environment on recovery, Testing and Innovation – currently focusing on developing standards for products/ materials used in mental healthcare settings, ‘International’, and ‘Stakeholder Engagement’. We also have a productive

ongoing collaboration with the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units and low secure units (NAPICU). We are keen for our work to have a tangible impact. Last year we launched Design with People in Mind, an evidence-based guide to how elements such as high quality personal space, some control over the environment, suitable therapeutic facilities, access to nature, attractive aesthetics, and good acoustics, can significantly aid recovery. This year we will unveil another new guide – on the impact of sound on the service- user/staff environment. “We launched our quarterly

magazine, The Network, in January 2015 to help widely disseminate the message of new and innovative solutions and best practice in design. Reaching a wide-ranging audience, it will continue to assist us in delivering a message of hope for the future. As well as addressing the broader questions in mental health design today, we encourage and take inspiration from exemplar projects where people are championing collaborative ways of working.”

Static and Guardian ‘team up’ on alarms

Static Systems Group says this year’s Design in Mental Health exhibition provides a good opportunity for visitors to learn how it has introduced the Guardian Attack Alarm solution into its ‘Protect’ range of products that ‘focus on improving the

safety and wellbeing of service-users and staff within mental health environments’. Static Systems said: “The Guardian solution

is recognised as one of the leading products for the personal protection of healthcare staff, and, having carried out extensive end-user market research and evaluated a number of provider products, we believe the system to be the best

suited to our customers’ needs. Uncomplicated to use, reliable, and effective in operation, and simple to install, it can be integrated harmoniously with other independent platforms and technologies, including our flagship product, Fusion-IP.” Static Systems says it ‘brings to the partnership an expert account management team to discuss available options, plus installation and commissioning teams’, while, post-contract, it offers product support, servicing, and maintenance. As well as attack alarm, the Protect range includes staff call and fire detection equipment.

A ‘powerful service ethic’ runs through all its work

Polar, a specialist designer, fabricator, installer, and maintainer of healthcare windows, doors, and curtain walling, now considers healthcare and mental healthcare its main focus, and says that it is accordingly continuously developing and changing its bespoke fenestration products ‘to cater for individual clients and environments’ in the sector.

The company said: “A powerful ethic runs

through all our work – whether at drawing board or on site, to offer the best service. This means we are professional, prompt,


reliable, and trustworthy, and comply with and exceed all industry standards.” A prime example, Polar says, is its Humber Secure window, first developed for the Humber NHS Foundation Trust. It

explained: “The main design brief was to be able to complete deep cleaning of the window behind the mesh panel, maintain high

sanitation levels, and allow full patient control of the sliding window. This led to the development of a secure, lockable, but removable mesh – creating the sector’s only such healthcare window. Having a removable mesh can reduce maintenance time, and thus costs, and allows full cleaning and decontamination, including from inside the building.”

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