Designing better mental healthcare facilities


Helping specifiers make more ‘informed choices’

A look by three BRE staff at the new BRE / DiMHN Informed Choices product testing standard and associated certification scheme, and what the process involves.

Service-users’ major say in Highgate East’s design

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust’s new Highgate East inpatient facility will provide first-class, 21st century mental healthcare for adults across North Central London

Mental health lighting – an evolution in design

Whitecroft Lighting has been lighting UK mental healthcare facilities for a generation, and endeavours to stay one step ahead of a market in ‘perpetual motion’.

Norwegian high security facility’s striking setting

Ratio arkitekter reports on a ground-breaking and award-winning new high security mental healthcare facility in a striking setting in Trondheim in northern Norway

Progress in eradicating ‘dormitory’ facilities

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is co-designing its ambitious new mental health facilities with service-users and clinical staff. The team behind ‘Making Room for Dignity’ reports on the plans for new inpatient facilities, and the progress made to date.

Portrane facility reflects updated national policy

Ireland’s new National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital exploits the therapeutic value of nature ‘in a discreetly secure setting which promotes the recovery of patients’

How lived experience shaped new CEO’s goals

The DiMHN’s first ever CEO is a former service-user who has worked with mental healthcare providers, and has delivered both peer worker support and co-production training – Hannah Chamberlain recently spoke to The Network’s editor

News of Network’s first CEO announced at AGM

The DiMHN’s 2022 AGM, held ‘virtually’ in November, saw reports on the previous 12 months, including a highly successful conference and exhibition, a new Lived Experience Advisory Panel, and the DiMHN’s first full-time salaried employee, a new Chief Executive.

Paving the way for future rehabilitation services

The award-winning redevelopment of an unused site in Wesham has created a modern new rehabilitation facility for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

Making sound choices for the benefit of all users

Andrea Harman, Concept developer for Healthcare for Saint-Gobain Ecophon, discusses some of the key considerations and steps to create a quieter, more calming, recovery environment for service-users in mental healthcare settings, and some of the things to avoid

‘Baby Boom’ generation will redefine ‘old age’

Highly experienced architect, and founder of IBI TH!NK, Richard Mazuch, argues that architects, designers, and planners, need to tailor their thinking on the optimal living and care environments to the needs and wants of the so-called ‘Baby Boomer’ generation.

Pears Maudsley Centre to ‘put young people first’

David Bradley, CEO of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, explains the design principles behind the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People, which is set to open in London in 2023.

Stopping seclusion from creating a lasting barrier

In a joint DiMH 2022 Conference address in June, two leading academics – from London South Bank University, and Nottingham Trent University – discussed a study examining the impact of the environment on service-users during de-escalation and seclusion.

A service-user’s view on improving care spaces

Service-users’ lived experience in mental healthcare facilities can provide valuable insights. At June’s DiMH conference, Nick Smith, who spent a lengthy period as an inpatient at Bradford’s Lynfield Mount Hospital, reflected on some of his most challenging times.

Recognising best practice and innovation

The first evening of June’s Design in Mental Health 2022 event in Coventry saw 12 Design in Mental Health 2022 Awards presented – recognising excellence in categories ranging from Outside Space of the Year and Concept Product Innovation to Service-User Engagement and Estates and Facilities Team of the Year.

Overcoming the barriers to equal access for all

Giving a first day keynote presentation at June’s Design in Mental Health 2022 conference, Sarah Hughes, CEO of the Centre for Mental Health, discussed what she argued were some of the key priorities for designing a mental health system that offered equality of access to all, and some of the major barriers that need overcoming to achieve this.

Boosting staff safety and security at St George’s

Allan Aikman, Product (Design) manager at Pinpoint, a specialist provider of staff personal alarm systems, describes how the company provided ‘a 100 per cent reliable, easy-to-use’ such system for St George’s Hospital, the main treatment centre for acute mental health issues in South Staffordshire.

Balancing aesthetics with safety and security

Jason Brown, director of Design and Development at Knightsbridge Furniture, takes a look at some of the key considerations – including the challenge of balancing appealing aesthetics and a therapeutic, non-institutional feel with safety and security – when designing and manufacturing furniture for mental healthcare settings.

New multi-level facility to replace ‘dormitory'

Robin Graham, an associate director at Gilling Dod Architects, describes the practice’s design of Park House – a new inpatient mental health facility at North Manchester General Hospital that will replace one of the largest remaining dormitory-based such units in the UK, and will also be one of the first multi-level mental health units with roof gardens in the north of England.

Technology keeping a tight rein on site security

Philip Verner explains how CEM Systems can help mental healthcare facilities maintain a ‘zero-risk strategy’ to protecting staff, service-users, & visitors, by providing absolute control as to who can go where and when, within their building or sites

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