Working with partners “Now,” Clive Seakens added, “we are working with partners like Intastop, Dortrend, Pensher Skytech, and SC Supplies, to further develop and enhance the range. We know there are some suppliers that try and do everything, but don’t make the doors. Sometimes that can be a little bit restrictive, because a healthcare facility might want a vision panel from one supplier, a hinge from another, a removable stop from somebody else, and locks and furniture from yet another. We can give the customer exactly what they want, while simultaneously letting them know which standards our doors meet. We are a bit like a Formula One team – you can pick the best engine, the best chassis, and the best gearbox, and put them all together. The new showroom here is the first step in a big drive to raise awareness of the company, our capabilities, and products, in the wider healthcare market. With the showroom’s completion, we will simultaneously be updating our product literature, and, in turn, our social media and website, so that in the latter case it is easier to find datasheets and the information that the customer wants online.”

Unique selling points

I asked Clive Seakens what he believed really made Stafford Bridge stand out? “What makes our offering unique,” he

Our aim is to work with other group and partner suppliers and the client to provide to robust, long-lasting, good value door products that are easy to operate, and fit for the application

replied, “is the quality of the door core, and the way our doors – generally made from really strong single and tri-laminate FSC tropical hardwoods such as Sapele and Celtis from West Africa – are assembled. Coupled with this is our ability to supply whatever finish and door components and furniture the customer requires. Because we can use some products from within our Group, and others from partner suppliers, we can offer the best package, at the best specification, at the best price. Where we have fallen down a little previously – and the latest initiatives seek to address this – is in getting out into the healthcare market and promoting ourselves. Predominantly our only major activity in healthcare to date has been supplying seclusion room doors.” Particularly given the applications that many go into, rigorous testing of its door and window products is key for Stafford Bridge. Clive Seakens elaborated: “We have generally used Exova Fire in Warrington for fire testing, and a number

of other test houses for other tests. In mental healthcare especially, compliance with the Door and Hardware Federation’s TS 001:2013 standard, which covers anti- ligature properties, is extremely important. The standard sets out methods for testing for potential ligature points via a multi- dimensional test using wire of varying thickness – going as low as 0.5 mm wire – in different directions, i.e. using a sideways, upward, or downward motion. You could, for example, loop a potential ligature around both the door handle and the top of the door.

Differing requirements

“Not every door we produce needs to be anti-ligature, of course – even for some mental health applications. For instance, put an anti-ligature handle in front of some dementia patients, and they wouldn’t even recognise it as a handle. The trick there is to provide something they recognise as a handle, but with reduced ligature risk. In an adolescent inpatient unit, conversely, there may be very different requirements, while someone with low dexterity might find it difficult to operate a traditional thumb- turn. Our aim is to work with other group and partner suppliers and the client to provide robust, long-lasting, good value door products that are easy to operate, and fit for the application, which may entail including access control or a variety of clutch mechanisms.”



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