Development of mental healthcare product standard progressing well

The DiMHN and BRE’s joint work to develop a fitness-for-purpose standard for products used in mental healthcare settings is progressing well, with the goal being a launch at this year’s DiMH conference.

Following the two organisations’ signing last May of an agreement to deliver a draft standard, stakeholder workshops were held to better understand the necessary performance requirements – in areas ranging from robustness and security, to safety, acoustics, and aesthetics. The workshops also captured information on the use/misuse of products by service- users – for instance looking at why misuse occurred; the tools used; failure modes; whether damage resulted in secondary issues; timescales; whether ‘issues’ revolved around a single, or a combination of, products; the impact of wear and tear; staff interventions, and use of products in different spaces. The DiMHN and BRE have also collected ‘a definitive list’ of existing standards, guidance, and policies used to define product performance, ‘to help build up a picture of the requirements for different products and for defining tests methods’.

The workshops saw over 50 organisations participate, with the information gathered ‘pulled into a matrix of themes which brings together all the collective knowledge captured’. With this process having started to define the performance requirements for each product, the product performance specifications were then used as the basis for two further workshops, at which mental health clinicians helped fine tune the DiMHN’s and BRE’s understanding of the product performance needs. The DiMHN and BRE said: “This has given us a better insight into mental health performance, highlighted a number of


Statement’ sets out seven priorities

The Mental Health Policy Group has published a ‘Consensus Statement’ with ‘partner organisations committed to improving the lives of people with mental health problems’. The Group, representing providers,

source documents that give us a better understanding into the physiology of people, and given us access to medical and physiological research into issues around self-harm and injury undertaken by, and shared with, clinician groups. This puts us in a good place to start writing the standard.” Most recently, the DiMHN and BRE have begun reviewing all the existing standards, guidance, and policies used to set or assess mental healthcare product performance, and ‘decanting’ all the relevant information into a master document, which will eventually underpin the new standard’s development.

When complete, the standard will:

l provide guidance on product performance requirements.

l define a unified methodology for testing products used in mental healthcare.

l underpin a certification scheme which will ensure consistent product test outcomes from any test laboratory. DiMHN and BRE explained: “The outcome will not be a simple ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, but rather a rating scheme to enable commissioners to select appropriate products for different applications.”

The goal is to create the first draft of the standard this spring, followed by ‘extensive consultation’. Depending on the feedback, the aim is then to launch the standard at May’s DiMH 2019 conference.

Comelit integrates door entry in Omagh

Comelit has ‘worked sensitively’ at the Rathview Mental Health Facility to supply door entry solutions ‘to ensure a therapeutic and safe environment’. Rurally located on the outskirts of Omagh, the new ‘circa £2.8 million’ facility incorporates a twelve-bed Discharge Unit and a six-bed Recovery Unit, arranged around two central courtyards. Designed by Todd Architects, it is operated by the Western Health and Social Care Trust. Comelit worked sensitively with electrical consultants, WYG Belfast, from the tender process to project completion. Gary Hewitt, consultant at Chubb NI, which


worked on the facility, said: “This was an incredibly sensitive works programme, where the building’s design was not just important aesthetically, but also to ensure a positive impact on the recovery process, and a safe, secure staff environment.” “Comelit products were specified through experience and evidence of the company’s understanding of requirements on site, and the fact that its system is IP-based, and hence highly flexible and configurable. These elements allow residents to experience independence in a domestic environment, with autonomous access to their accommodation.”

professionals, the voluntary and community sector, and ‘hundreds of thousands of users of the NHS and services in the wider community that support their mental health’, says mental health problems ‘remain one of England’s largest single causes of disability’, affecting one in five mothers during pregnancy or the first year after childbirth, one in eight children and young people, and one in six adults. It adds: “As health leaders set out their vision for the NHS over the next 10 years, we urge that it be underpinned and informed by the following seven principles: l Real parity of esteem for mental health.

l Mental health should be ‘threaded throughout the NHS Long Term Plan’.

l ‘Improved mental health support is not just about the NHS’. ‘The NHS Long Term Plan must be accompanied by a similar long-term cross- government strategy to effectively tackle the wider social determinants of poor mental health’.

l ‘Holistic support’ to help people of all ages manage both their physical and mental health.

l ‘Ambitious pathways and waiting time standards’, to ensure that people with mental ill health receive the right treatment at the right time.

l A ‘psychologically informed’ workforce across all parts of the NHS.

l ‘The disproportionately low’ levels of research funding for mental health should be addressed.”

Comelit supplied door entry systems for all four entrance points, with four 316 Sense panels installed, two staff stations, and a concierge unit. Each apartment is fitted with a pull cord and emergency response button, cabled into Comelit’s Mini hands- free monitors.


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