Designing better mental healthcare facilities


Strong views on ‘weak’ vision panels

When developing products for the mental health sector, it should be obvious that standard designs won’t be appropriate, points out Alan Rees, MD of Corby-based Creative Ironmongery, who adds that, nevertheless, ‘some suppliers will try to convince buyers that a standard product is adequate’.

Sit back, relax, and ‘achieve Zen’

The new Zen seating range from Pineapple Contracts is ‘helping to build areas of calm, relaxation, and rest, in areas of challenging behaviour’.

‘Ultimate test’ for plaster skim finish

British Gypsum’s ThistlePro DuraFinish skimming plaster is helping to protect the walls from accidental damage at a new sensory room facility for a charity organisation set up to prevent isolation for families affected by autistic spectrum condition, Autism Isolation No More.

A ‘breakthrough’ in access control

Stanley Security has partnered with Londonbased security start-up, Doordeck, to launch the Stanley OneDoor smartphone-based access control system, which can be used with existing Stanley access control products, and reportedly ‘rolled out to an entire building in under one hour, without the need for new hardware’.

‘Homestead formation’ for new rural Omagh facility

With its height, whitewashed walls, slate-clad appearance, and rural setting, combining to lend it a homely, domestic feel, at first glance the new Rathview Mental Health Facility in Omagh is perhaps not what you would expect.

Britplas ‘package’ for Boothroyd Unit

Britplas has been appointed to supply the window and glazing package to Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s new mental health facility in Southport, continuing a relationship between the two organisations which started 12 years ago with the installation of the first ever Safevent windows.

Windows help keep troubled youngsters safe

A ‘state-of-the-art’ residential unit for vulnerable children and adolescents in North West England features Crittall Fendor’s CleanVent security windows.

Oxford VR concludes ‘major new investment round to speed product innovation’

Oxford VR, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, has raised £3.2m with investors including Oxford Sciences Innovation, the University of Oxford, Force Over Mass, RT Capital, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners. The company says this new investment round ‘powers the pace of company growth to bring automated, immersive, clinically validated Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to market as user-centred treatments for patients with mental health problems’.

‘Dementia-friendly’ demonstration home opened

A new ‘dementia-friendly’ home has been developed jointly by leading building science research centre, BRE, and Loughborough University experts, at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, ‘to help educate housebuilders, carers, and relatives on how to better support those living with dementia’. Formally opened by Lord Richard Best OBE DL, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing & Care for Older People, the 100 m2 Victorian house has been adapted to cater for different types and stages of dementia, and is aimed at allowing sufferers to live independently. The upper floor been adapted for the more advanced stages of dementia.

'Homestead formation' for new rural Omagh facility

With its height, whitewashed walls, slate-clad appearance, and rural setting all combining to lend it a homely domestic feel, at first glance the new Rathview Mental Health Facility in Omagh is perhaps not what you would expect. “In fact,” say its architects, Todd Architects, ‘it would be hard to know it was a healthcare building at all.” Rathview, completed in April this year for the Western Health and Social Care Trust by main contractor, P&K McKaigue, was carefully designed ‘to break down traditional, preconceived ideas of mental health facilities, offering a fresh, residential approach in a peaceful countryside setting’.

Strategic estates partnership for south Devon Trust

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT) has announced that it is to enter into a ‘50:50 strategic estates partnership and joint venture’ with Health Innovation Partners ‘to support the development of its estate and delivery of the community’s ambitious estates strategy’. Morgan Sindall said: “This flexible, non-exclusive partnership is for an initial 15 years, and follows a successful public procurement and competitive dialogue process. This joint venture approach allows the Trust and care model partners to draw on the commercial expertise of Health Innovation Partners, and its parent companies, Arcadis and Morgan Sindall Investments.

Integrated care centre opens as NHS marks 70th birthday

Hull’s new Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre (ICC) opened in July during the week the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday. Architect, Medical Architecture, says one of the centre’s key goals is to ‘transform lives for the elderly’ in Hull – by providing out-of-hospital care, while reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, ‘enabling enables residents to keep fit, healthy, and living independently, in their own homes’.

Ascom rolls out smartphones for ‘300+' doctors at Royal Bolton

Ascom UK is deploying hundreds of its Myco smartphones to enable on-call doctors at the Royal Bolton Hospital to better care for seriously ill patients at night and over weekends. Initially, 30 handheld Myco smart devices are being used by on-call doctors and night nurse practitioners to triage emergencies across the hospital’s medical, surgical, and orthopaedics wards – the first phase in a phased rollout of 303 Ascom smartphones, part of an electronic observations project to ‘deliver time-critical alerts’ to clinical teams across Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

‘Co-production’ in mental healthcare delivery

‘Co-production’ in the design and delivery of mental healthcare was the central theme at an evening event held in June at london’s Dragon Café in Borough, reports DIMHN President, Joe Forster, who attended.

DH-endorsed ‘interactive’ healthcare ‘colour palettes’ launched

In support of this year’s Dementia Action Week – the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual awareness campaign which ‘asks everyone to take actions big and small to improve the lives of people affected by dementia’, Dulux Trade launched its new ‘evidencebased’ Healthcare Colour Palette as part of its commitment ‘to ensure that all healthcare environments are as dementiafriendly as possible’.

Evidence-based guide to making sound choices

last May’s launch – at DIMH 2017 – of the first in what the DIMHN intends will be a series of concise but informative evidence-based guides to improving various elements of the mental healthcare environment, was followed this May by the unveiling of a second publication, focusing this time on the impact of sound on all those using such spaces.

Stanley Security to partner Oxehealth

Stanley Security it to partner with software manufacturer, Oxehealth, ‘to supply advanced patient care and staff safety systems for the UK mental health sector’.

‘Hotel-feel’ for well-lit retirement ‘village’

H igh levels of natural light and ventilation |are the hallmarks of Tree Top Village in Newcastle, a retirement village ‘with an inspirational design’ that roof window supplier, Velux says ‘achieves its goal’ through extensive use of Velux Modular Skylights.

Pinpoint system addresses staff safety problem

The failure of a personal safety alarm system to live up to the supplier’s promises has seen care home operator, Millennium Care, replace it with a Pinpoint Staff Personal Safety Alarm System at its Sunnyborough facility near Goole in yorkshire, a specialised care home for adults with conditions ranging from autism to learning difficulties, and with ‘very complex needs and extremely challenging backgrounds’.

VR therapy with ’90% success rates’

A psychology clinic on London’s Harley Street claims to be ‘pioneering the way for virtual reality (VR) to be used to treat a range of mental health issues’.

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