A new era for Guernsey’s mental health services

Re-writing the book on mental health services can lead to new, exciting, and transformational ideas. However, as architect, Andrew Street, studio associate at IBI Group, explains, given the opportunity to reinvent one’s mental health strategy and develop a brand new home for one’s services, while faced with the geographical and demographical challenges of being based on a small island – in this case Guernsey – the rewards can be even greater.

Creativity and collaboration never more critical

Whether you are looking at adding new buildings, considering refurbishing existing facilities, or thinking about ongoing maintenance or improvement work, the Design in Mental Health 2016 event, taking place from 17-18 May at the National Conference Centre, Solihull (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum), should provide an excellent forum for information, solutions, and ideas.

The power of art as a therapeutic tool

Dan Savage, a visual artist and designer who specialises in creating integral artwork for healthcare environments, puts a powerful case for art’s therapeutic benefits in mental healthcare environments, and explains how to select artworks that calm, relax, and positively engage service-users. Over the past 10 years he has delivered 24 art schemes for NHS Trusts and hospices, and a further 11 public art schemes for local authorities, educational establishments, and commercial clients.

Pushing the boundaries of bedroom design

Seven years have elapsed since members of the Design In Mental Health Network first discussed designing and building a ‘mock-up’ mental healthcare inpatient bedroom to enable evaluation of the latest products and technologies targeted at such environments in a realistic setting. Here, DIMHN chair, Jenny Gill, looks back at the considerable progress in developing the Better Bedroom, and explains the latest plans to now focus on other inpatient environments where improvements are due.

Making acute settings ‘dementia-inclusive’

Karen Flatt, an architect at IBI Group, and specialist in mental health design, and IBI interior designer, Lynn Lindley, discuss the creation of a ‘Dementia-Friendly Care Zone’ at Croydon University Hospital, which not only raised the profile of dementia within the south London healthcare facility, but which nursing staff say is ‘a much better environment to work in – being positive, calming, and beneficial to patients’.

Proper training and considered design essential

Phil Padgett, national sales manager and dementia specialist at medical equipment and services provider, Essential Healthcare Solutions, argues that staff looking after those living with dementia need both appropriate training and a proper understanding of the condition. He also sets out some of the basic interior design criteria to consider when fitting out and furnishing facilities to be ‘dementia-friendly’.

A clear vision for Lutherwood

Barbara Miszkiel, a principal in the Toronto office of Stantec Architecture, in charge of Behavioural Health, Long-Term Care, and other Specialty Healthcare projects, describes how the involvement of key stakeholders including staff, young service-users, their families, the local community, consultants, and contractors, in a clear ‘visioning’ process, proved key to achieving a successful transformation and ‘rejuvenation’ of the facilities at the Lutherwood Children’s Mental Health Centre in Ontario, Canada.

Clock View ‘captures public’s imagination’

Chris Shaw, founding director of or architectural practice and health planning consultancy, Medical Architecture, describes the background to the development of Mersey Care NHS Trust’s new £25m Clock View Hospital, which opened in February on the site of the former Walton Hospital on Merseyside. The 80-bed inpatient unit provides short-term treatment for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and dementia, houses Liverpool’s new psychiatric intensive care unit, and is the base for a new local assessment and immediate care service.

A psychiatrist’s view on what makes better buildings

An interesting insight into the impact on service-users of really high quality mental healthcare accommodation, and some of the key characteristics of buildings, clinical practice, and service models, that optimise, or indeed hamper, the chances of a speedy recovery, were examined in the opening keynote on Day Two at the Design in Mental Health 2015 conference, by Professor Fiona Mason, chief medical officer at St Andrew’s Healthcare. Jonathan Baillie reports.

Tough by name, tough by nature

Few beds, one would imagine, could withstand three-quarters of a ton landing on them, but this was the challenge successfully met by a box bed from a furniture manufacturer for challenging behaviour environments, Tough Furniture, when, to reassure a customer that the bed could accommodate 30-stone patients, 13 of the company’s staff jumped repeatedly on it to ensure that it would survive intact in a real-world setting. Such testing may seem extreme, but is vital, since much of the company’s furniture is destined for environments where patients will abuse, and indeed attempt to destroy, components.

BIM deadline fast approaching

In 2016 all centrally-procured Government construction projects will have to use fully-collaborative 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM). With only months to go until this deadline, the pressure is on healthcare suppliers to make their product ranges compliant. In this article, Philip Ross, director of Safehinge, explains what this means for the marketplace and ‘why you should not be afraid to embrace BIM’.

How not to design a perfect facility

A personal standpoint on ‘how not to design a perfect mental hospital or clinic’, from a writer and mental health campaigner who formerly ran a large mental health Trust, and is also a service-user, formed the second first-day keynote presentation at May’s Design in Mental Health 2015 conference. Lisa Rodrigues’ address focused on the positive impact that a high quality inpatient environment can have on recovery and care, and highlighted some of the elements that can have the opposite effect. The Network editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.

A service-user’s view – no ‘one right way’ to get better

In the second of two opening keynote speeches at Day Two of May’s Design in Mental Health conference in Solihull, Ian Callaghan, a long-standing user of mental health services, who is today the national service-user lead for My Shared Pathway and Recovery and Outcomes in secure mental healthcare, gave the perspective of a service-user, and now also a regular visitor to inpatient mental healthcare facilities in a professional role, on ‘best practice in design, with recovery in mind’.

Taking the Better Bedroom to the next level

Speaking on the first day of the DIMH 2015 conference in Solihull, Matthew Balaam of Oxford Architects, project manager on the Better Bedroom initiative, explained how, following the news that a second Better Bedroom could not, as originally planned, be installed at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Swandean adult inpatient unit in Worthing, suppliers had worked tirelessly to provide the materials and components to enable a BB2 to be assembled and showcased at May’s conference instead.

Bringing St Bernard’s into the 21st century

Juliet Erridge, an associate director at David Morley Architects, describes the context and background to the practice’s work to bring St Bernard’s Hospital, a low secure unit in Ealing which was originally the first purpose-built asylum to be completed in England and Wales, ‘into the 21st century’ for the West London Mental Health NHS Trust. She spoke about the redevelopment of the new medium secure campus at May’s Design in Mental Health 2015 conference with Barbara Wood, the Trust’s redevelopment programme manager (Service and Business Change).

Sensing the strengths, identifying the weaknesses

In the opening keynote presentation at this year’s Design in Mental Health conference, John Short, chief executive of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust – one of England’s largest mental healthcare providers – described his own professional experience of mental healthcare environments, and set out some key pointers on features and characteristics that can ‘make or break’ inpatient units, and have far-reaching impacts on both service-users and staff.

Celebrating creativity, imagination, and design

The 2015 Design in Mental Health Dinner & Awards were held at the National Motorcycle Museum on 19 May, during this year’s Design in Mental Health conference and exhibition. The evening provided a chance to relax, unwind, and make and renew contacts, and saw the presentation of the 2015 DIMH Awards. Guests were also treated to a thought-provoking after-dinner speech by author, campaigner, columnist, and mental health service-user, Clare Allan. The Network editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.