NEWS COVER STORY Bedroom furniture for challenging spaces

Furnishing bedrooms in challenging environments is a difficult task – conventional bedroom furniture made from wooden/MFC cabinetry can present inherent ligature risks, says Pineapple. The company added: “Although these risks can be mitigated by careful design, they may still be prone to the creation of further ligature opportunities if they become damaged.

“Once damaged,” Pineapple adds, “cabinets can be disassembled into smaller components which can be used to create weapons for self-harm or against others. Furthermore, wood-based products are susceptible to water damage, which may necessitate a full bedroom replacement – impacting on occupancy and the lifetime cost of the furniture.”

Building on the success of its award-winning Ryno range, Pineapple is developing a range of reduced-ligature bedroom furniture specifically designed to address the issues associated with traditional cabinetry. ‘Intelligent design solutions’, and

the absence of doors, drawers, and sharp angles, minimise ligature opportunities to help create safer spaces for those in crisis.

Their one-piece polyethylene construction and absence of ‘pinch-points’ helps Ryno products to dissipate impact, providing a strong and resilient option to withstand outbreaks of challenging behaviour. The one-piece construction also prevents disassembly or weaponisation, and means they are totally water-resistant.

Combined with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing faults, these features will make it possible to create safer, more secure bedrooms, with a reduction in lifetime cost when compared with conventional options. Available to pre-order now, the Ryno bedroom range will be available later this year. Pineapple Contracts

Westmead, Aylesford, Maidstone, Kent ME20 6XJ Tel: 01622 237830

Uniform product testing guidance on schedule

The Design in Mental Health Network’s Innovation & Testing Workstream says that following last summer’s workshops for estates and facilities, design personnel, and manufacturers, follow- up such events for clinical staff held in the past 3-4 months have provided further valuable feedback towards the DiMHN’s and

BRE’s joint development of formal guidance for testing of some of the most widely used products in mental healthcare settings. The guidance remains on track for publication of a draft early this May, and of completed guidance this autumn. As reported in January’s The Network, stakeholder workshops, garnering the views of estates and facilities, architectural, design, manufacturer, and construction personnel, were held last summer to give the joint DiMHN and BRE team a clearer understanding of the necessary performance requirements – in areas ranging from robustness to anti- ligature. Follow-up events for clinical staff in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh late last year, and early this, were well attended, with representation from some of the UK’s largest mental health Trusts and Boards. The feedback received afforded the product testing initiative team with greater insight into how clinicians risk assess current environments and manage patients of different risk levels.

Philip Ross (pictured), who leads the Workstream, said: “Our aim is to create a testing framework where products can be


graded in key areas of performance, covering ligature risk and robustness. Our draft product testing guidance based on these parameters – to be published next month – will also consider the characteristics of two specific product groups – doorsets and door hardware, and windows.”

A small internal DiMHN Working Group has been working closely throughout the project with former BRE MD and Special projects director, Richard Hardy (now a consultant to BRE), and associate director, David Gall, harnessing their considerable expertise, technical knowledge, and input in an area for which the building science centre has a considerable reputation. Philip Ross will update delegates on progress, and the next steps, in a first day DiMH 2019 conference keynote speech on 21 May, with a consultation period on the draft guidance ongoing for several months thereafter, and a targeted autumn publication date for the finalised guidance.

Philip Ross added: “The BRE undertakes its own comprehensive independent product testing, and the plan – going forward – is to ask it to act as the official test body, thus ensuring that testing is undertaken to uniform standards, and that each product can be awarded an easily comparable overall grading. Once the guidance is published, it will be available to estates and facilities and clinical personnel as a handy guide and specification aid.”


Safeventwindowfor Devon’s first PICU Devon Partnership NHS Trust has

chosen the latest iteration of Britplas’s Safevent window for its new, 10-bedded, £5.5 million Wonford PICU, The Junipers.

Since its invention in 2006, Britplas says the Safevent has been installed ‘in hundreds of mental health facilities across the UK’. The design has been continually improved, evolving through eight models, while retaining its core anti-ligature design, natural light and ventilation, and patient control features. Britplas explained: “The most recent improvements have seen a switch from face- to bottom-drained sills, removing any visible drainage slots, and thus negating the need for plastic drain covers. This has also allowed the drainage slots to be extended through the frame to allow water to drain through the system much more quickly and effectively.”

The new Wonford PICU represents one of the first projects completed using the newly designed sill. Alongside aluminium externally sliding Safevent windows, Britplas also designed and installed curtain walling and aluminium and steel doors for the new unit, working with main contractor, Interserve.

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