Designing better mental healthcare facilities


Bespoke supported living facility for people diagnosed with dementia

TODD Architects has completed The Croft in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, a ‘state-of-the-art supported living development specifically designed for people living with early stage dementia’. The architects worked with worked with Choice Housing, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, and the Northern Ireland Executive, to develop and deliver the bespoke scheme in the Abbots Cross area of the Belfast suburb. The 24 new-build self-contained apartments are arranged as a village, ‘encouraging residents to follow a conventional life pattern, designed for their safety, therapy, wellbeing, and ease of accessibility’. TODD Architects said: “The design surpasses current standards for supported housing and dementia care, setting a new precedent of quality, enabling people with a care need to continue to live independently in the community, with the completed building providing a bright, secure, and pleasant place in which to live.”

Unobtrusive monitoring

The new Hanwha Techwin Wisenet TNV-7010RC 3 megapixel corner mount camera has been designed to meet the requirements of mental health institutions, where there is a duty of care to prevent self-harm.

Helping those with dementia live independently for longer

A ‘ground-breaking’ £20 m new centre will develop technologies to create dementia-friendly ‘Healthy Homes’, and provide insights into how dementia develops. The new Care Research & Technology Centre at Imperial College London joins six national discovery science centres that collectively make up the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI). The ‘vision’ for the new facility is to use patient-centred technology to help people affected by dementia live better and for longer in their own homes. The centre will use a range of approaches – from artificial intelligence and robotics, to sleep monitoring – to enable people with dementia to live safely and independently in their own homes.

Making cities ‘friendlier’ for all

Speaking at the recent Futurebuild 2019 event in London, architect, service-user, and past-director of the Design in Mental Health Network, Dr Rob MacDonald, tackled issues faced by people living with dementia, and highlighted the Network’s contribution. Addressing delegates under the heading ‘Making Friendlier Cities for All’, he and his co-presenters addressed urban environments that must serve different age groups.

A creative approach to problem-solving

Corby-based Creative Ironmongery specialises in designing and creating ‘problem-solving products that save money and deliver exceptional performance, even in the most challenging environments’. The company claims to be ‘revolutionising standards in architectural ironmongery’, and, owner, Alan Rees, explains, prides itself on ‘addressing challenges’ – from customising an existing product for a particular application, to developing a bespoke component that other companies might ‘walk away from’. The Network’s editor, Jonathan Baillie, met up with him, to find out more.

Health sector organisations pledge support for sustainability commitments

The Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) has worked in collaboration with a Cross System Group, comprising key representatives of organisations across the health and care sector, to establish what it describes as ‘significant sustainability commitments’ on behalf of 10 Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs).

Aintree event sees co-design’s importance highlighted

Service-users, carers, staff, and the public came together recently at Aintree Racecourse for a ‘Members’ Event’ organised by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust – a regular and enthusiastic attender at the Design In Mental Health conference, exhibition, and awards.

Safevent window for Devon’s first PICU

Devon Partnership NHS Trust has chosen the latest iteration of Britplas’s Safevent window for its new, 10-bedded £5.5m 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.

Established architects join forces

Cowan Architects has announced that it has incorporated Alexander Sedgley Architects of Greenwich into its East Grinstead and London Bridge practice, with immediate effect.

Leading UK and Canadian architects form partnership

BDP has made ‘a strategic investment’ in Toronto-based Quadrangle, ‘one of Canada’s most respected architecture and interior design practices’. The practices say the partnership will create a platform for continued international growth in key markets and sectors across Canada and North America.

Prime acquires Interserve Prime and sets out ‘new vision’

Health and care property company, Prime, has completed a deal to purchase full shares in joint venture company, Interserve Prime. The company will be known as Prime Partnering Solutions. Prime says the acquisition ‘will have no impact on ongoing projects, other than to offer increased efficiency and the convenience of a single point of contact to clients and suppliers’. It added: “Interserve remains a key supply chain partner to Prime, and the two companies continue to enjoy a good working relationship.”

New name and identity for Assa Abloy UK

Assa Abloy UK, a division of Assa Abloy Group, which claims to be ‘the global leader in door opening solutions’, has unveiled its new name, with the business known as Assa Abloy Opening Solutions UK & Ireland. The company says the new business descriptor reflects the Group’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the Assa Abloy brand, and helping its customers ‘to better understand the organisation’s solutions, services and capabilities’.

Major new investment round to speed product innovation

Oxford VR, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, has raised £3.2 million with investors including Oxford Sciences Innovation, the University of Oxford, Force Over Mass, RT Capital, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners.

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.

Thanks given to ‘a real all-rounder’

At the DiMHN’s 2018 AGM in Manchester in October, President, Joe Forster, paid tribute to the work of the Board members, Workstreams, and the Network’s commercial members, and, after the formal proceedings had closed, said one individual who exemplified this commitment and contribution was Russell Hogarth, who recently stepped down as a Board member.

Book highlights importance of ‘co-production’

DiMHN was represented recently at the launch of an important new book at London South Bank University.

New Board member's extensive experience

Following the retirement ‘by rotation’ of Russell Hogarth, Clive Stone, and Cath Lake, as directors of the Design in Mental Health Network during 2018, Jenny Gill reported at the Network’s 2018 AGM in Manchester in October that while the latter two individuals had been re-elected, a new member had been elected to the Board.

A busy year for the Network’s Workstreams

Speaking at the Design in Mental Health Network’s 2018 AGM at October’s Healthcare Estates 2018 event in Manchester, the DiMHN’s chair, Jenny Gill, explained that all the DiMHN Workstreams had had a very busy year.

RSK Group acquires Pellings

RSK Group, which claims to be the UK’s leading integrated environmental, engineering, and technical services business, has announced its latest acquisition – design, property, and construction consultancy, Pellings – the ninth acquisition that RSK, a privately owned company with 36 international offices, over 2,700 staff, and an annual turnover of £200 m, has made in the 2018/2019 financial year.

£2.3 bn a year extra for mental health promised in NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan, launched on 7 January, sets out how the £20.5 billion budget settlement for the NHS, announced by the Prime Minister last summer, will be spent over the next five years, and includes measures to prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases, as well as to provide better access to mental health services for adults and children. The Department of Health says the Plan ‘focuses on building an NHS fit for the future’, by: •enabling everyone to get the best start in life; •helping communities to live well; •helping people to age well.

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