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NEWS


Testing guidance should enable informed buying


The Design in Mental Health Network (DiMHN) and the BRE say that, following the BRE Board’s detailed scrutiny of the two organisations’ jointly- produced draft guidance on performance testing of products used in mental healthcare settings (The Network – January 2020), they aim to publish the final guidance document, Informed Choices. Testing Guidance for Products in Mental Health Facilities, by the end of this month (April 2020).


The new guidance – part of the DiMHN’s Design With People in Mind series – will provide detailed information on how to test the ligature risk and robustness of a broad spectrum of products used in mental healthcare facilities, as well as focusing specifically on the cleanability of windows – such as those incorporating a mesh – and their light and air transmission characteristics, and on the anti-barricade properties of doorsets.


DiMHN Board member, and Innovation & Testing Workstream lead, Philip Ross, explained: “Once the guidance is published, manufacturers will be able to refer to it to see what level of performance criteria their products should meet. They will also be able to draw on it for their own internal testing – for example to help them determine whether a new product needs further refinement or strengthening before going onto the market. However, for products to be certified as conforming to the new DiMHN and BRE guidance, they will need to have been independently tested by the BRE at its advanced Watford facilities –


a process we hope can begin over coming months; when, however, will depend on the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, and the associated restrictions.


“In refining the guidance,” he continued, “we have worked with a number of stakeholders, including the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and had hoped, by now, to have visited some clinical healthcare settings to test


some products in situ and discuss particular concerns or testing considerations with staff. Under the current ‘lockdown’, however, this has clearly not been possible. “The new guidance’s publication will be a significant milestone in making available to manufacturers some solid, well- conceived, and thoroughly evaluated testing guidance. The new publication should also prove invaluable to specifiers of a variety of products and components for healthcare settings – from clinicians, to estates and facilities personnel. Apart from affording them a clear idea of what performance characteristics a particular product type should possess to be safe and fit-for-purpose, they will be able to compare meaningfully the performance of BRE-tested products to help them make an informed buying choice. “The DiMHN would like to thank the BRE, and in particular the organisation’s former MD, Richard Hardy, Associate director, David Gall, and director, Construction, within the Fire and Building Safety Group, Neil Abbott, for all their input, expertise, and support, in making the new guidance a reality.”


Researching dementia design in Japan


Lesley Palmer, the Chief Architect at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, has received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which she will use to research dementia design and urbanisation in Japan, and how it compares to the UK.


During her research, she will investigate how the urban environment of Fukuoka – Japan’s fastest-growing city – supports healthy cognitive ageing. After identifying good practice examples and case studies, she will share her findings through the DSDC’s extensive network of partner organisations in the UK, Japan, and around the globe.


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Lesley Palmer said: “I’m extremely proud to receive this Fellowship, and believe it will enable me to build on my experience so far to increase my knowledge of innovative methods of design in Japan. I hope that this Fellowship will allow me to help improve awareness of the impact of urban design on healthy ageing. There are initiatives and design precedents in Japan which can make an important contribution to how we design and support healthy ageing in our cities in the UK. The DSDC has an important role to play in that, and this opportunity will allow us to further enhance the range of services we offer.”


The DSDC is an internationally renowned centre of knowledge and


expertise, dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, a ‘unique programme of overseas research grants that support UK citizens to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems’.


Every year the Trust awards up to 150 Fellowships, ‘to fund outstanding individuals to travel for 4-8 weeks, anywhere in the world, researching a topic of their choice among global leaders in their field’. On their return, the Trust helps them share their global learning with professions and communities across the UK.


APRIL 2020 | THE NETWORK


Meesons adds to its portfolio


Meesons, a UK entrance control solutions specialist, has announced an exclusive distributor agreement with Perimeter Protection Group (PPG) to distribute its Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) solutions throughout the UK. PPG claims to ‘lead the world’ in


perimeter protection products. Meesons says the agreement gives it ‘exclusivity to a range of high quality HVM solutions that meet internationally recognised approvals’, including PAS68, IWA14-1, ASTM, and UK government approval. The company said: “PPG’s tried and tested HVM products have been installed in a number of high profile locations in the UK and worldwide, where they prevent hostile vehicles reaching their intended targets.” The HVM products complement Meesons’ existing Security Portals, Speed Gates, and Full Height Turnstiles, specified as anti-tailgating, physical barriers to secure entrance spaces, building façades, and external perimeters. ‘Following the growth in number and increased threat from vehicle-borne attacks over the last few years’, Meesons identified the HVM products as ‘key potential additions’ to its product range. It said: “These risks encompass everything from theft and vandalism, to sophisticated or aggressive attack by determined criminals or terrorists, and are exacerbated by the capability of hostile vehicles to carry large explosive devices.” Meesons says it is supporting the launch of the HVM product range ‘with dedicated resource’ in its commercial team. CEO, Jeremy Terry said: “HVM and PPG are a natural fit, strengthening our existing portfolio of entrance control solutions.”


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