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HEALTHCARE BUILD & DESIGN PROJECT REPORT


TRANSITIONAL LIVING


In order to help service users reintegrate into the community the Transitional Living Unit includes seven self-contained flats with washing and cooking facilities


ground floor to maximise daylighting. Smith says: “It’s an interesting mixture without overdoing it – we have created some characterful elevations, and impor- tantly the service users have control over opening their own windows.” Next to the gym is a “therapeutic and service-user led space” consisting of a hairdressers and beauty parlour. As Smith says, “You need some joy in the building too, avoiding an institutional feel without adding risk.”


Ward design & security


The ward layout reflects best practice design accumulated over many years in mental health care and which Tangram hones and optimises for clients, from linear, and T-shaped to space-efficient L-shaped wards – as have been adopted here. Whitehead says although the client Cygnet “likes the L-shaped ward, as it gives them a central nurse station with good observation across the day space and bedroom areas,” during the design process they “still come back with comments and we enhance the layout from there.” He adds: “the L-shape allows you to enter the ward from the corridor and this


spine of circulation also accesses the ancil- lary and support accommodation. It suited the site and allowed us to join the dots.” Each ward has a seclusion suite – includ- ing the seclusion room itself plus an en suite, a sitting room and an adjoining external space – on the ground floor walled courtyards but on the first floor a terrace. Within a unit of this type, despite its generally low-secure nature, security and means of escape in a fire remain key design drivers alongside creating therapeutic spaces. Therefore as well as getting the clinical adjacencies correct within wards, means of escape need to always be carefully thought through. An established concept of creating a ‘secure line’ was used, meaning areas within this secured perimeter allowed free movement of staff and service users avoiding the need of having to go through the secure line ‘airlock.’ Whitehead explains further: “The client wanted one of the locked rehabilitation wards adjacent to the PICU within the ‘secure line’, which also includes the tribu- nal services therapy and interview rooms and the gym.” By contrast, the locked rehabilitation area over two stories (ground and first) is slightly lower risk, so


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ADF JULY 2017


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