customer requests. Recently, for instance, we were asked to quote for retrofitting reinforced steel plates into a large number of seclusion room doors that a mental healthcare provider had installed, but which had not proven sufficiently robust, leading to some bursting or splitting after repeated abuse. A more robust door is naturally more costly than an ‘off-the-shelf’ unit. However, factor in the lifecycle costs, patient and staff safety aspects, and the inconvenience and disruption of replacing a damaged ‘weaker’ door, and the real cost of the stronger, more fit-for- purpose door is actually lower.” Having looked at the context within which Clive Seakens joined Stafford Bridge, and touched on both the company’s existing mental health seclusion room door range, and its suite of new doors for wider healthcare use, my host moved on to tell me a little more about the products that would be on display in the showroom when it opens this month. He said: “Among the range of more ‘specialist doorsets’ (a number of them de-‘specced’ from secure mental healthcare specification for more general use) we will be showing will be a ‘normal’ single seclusion door, as well as a single seclusion door into a ‘pocket’, representing an en-suite seclusion door. The latter is proving really popular, because it enables the healthcare provider to retain the use of a bedroom when the toilet facility is no longer available, for instance if it needs cleaning or maintenance, or has been rendered temporarily unusable. By installing a ‘pocket door’ – via a secondary frame on an adjacent wall – you can lock the door open, so that the patient has full uninterrupted toilet access at all times. “However, should the Maintenance Team need to, they can safely and securely lock the door from its ‘pocket’ into the ‘closed’ position, and the patient still has use of

The new Stafford Bridge showroom featuring BetweenGlassBlinds and ‘mobile demo’ doorsets.

the bedroom, allowing the maintenance personnel to clean and repair the toilet, while retaining the service-user’s privacy.”

Anti-barricade door

The new showroom also incorporates an Anti-Barricade bedroom door. Clive Seakens said: “This doorset is designed not only to protect against self-harm, but also to guard against the scenario where, when a patient has collapsed behind a ‘normal’ door with no removable stop, and the door cannot be opened outwards, staff cannot get inside to help the individual.” Also on show will be a ‘normal’ en-suite door encapsulated with a special easy-clean material such as Antibac PVC-U, from one of Stafford Bridge’s ‘partner suppliers’, Intastop.

Clive Seakens said: “We have always made the door frames, leaves, and other key hardware here, prior to incorporating other components that enable us to complete the doorset, which are supplied

A bedroom doorset featuring a Black Ash door with an Intastop picture vision panel.

either by other ‘Group’ companies, or by other suppliers with who we work closely. We nearly always supply the complete doorset, since we believe it is very difficult to confirm that an existing frame is appropriate. If we don’t supply our own, fully tested frame, there is a real chance that the new door – with its sophisticated lockset – could soon be found lying flat on the floor in the bedroom of, say, a seclusion suite, having been knocked off its frame by a service-user. To reduce that potential, we have worked with the provider of a steel H-frame.”

A 3D drawing of a ‘typical’ seclusion suite layout. 18

Increasing the frame security He continued: “On the rare occasions where a specifier requires just the door – for instance where there is padding or cladding inside the room that cannot be disturbed – we will look at increasing the frame security within the existing aperture. Generally, though, we supply the complete doorset, apply the finish, fit the lock and hinges, and incorporate the vision panels.” If required, Stafford Bridge can also install the doors, while a sister company, 24/7, offers a nationwide supply, install, and maintain package. Surelock McGill, a long-established specialist lock manufacturer, is the parent to all the group companies. Although our discussions had primarily so far focused on Stafford Bridge’s work for St Andrew’s Healthcare, Clive Seakens pointed out that it already supplies many other private mental healthcare providers, mental health NHS Trusts, and a few acute Trusts, across the UK. He said: “It is because we are looking to really broaden our healthcare customer base that we are building the new showroom, which will enable us to properly showcase a range of doorsets appropriate for other medical areas. We are now evolving the range for this purpose – almost by ‘de-speccing’ it to make it appropriate for use elsewhere in healthcare. We have enhanced the range by adding diversity, rather than changing the core to acieve a level of performance the door was not intended for.


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