RECENT NEWS

Care reviews for all with learning disabilities and autism

All 2,250 patients with learning disabilities and autism who are inpatients in a mental health hospital will have their care reviewed over the next 12 months, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced. As part of the review, the Government will commit to providing each with a discharge date, or, where this is not appropriate, a clear explanation of why, and a plan to move them closer towards being ready for discharge into the community. The Department of Health & Social Care says the announcement builds on recent statistics showing there has already been a 22% reduction in inpatient numbers since March 2015. The Government has also committed to ensuring that a further 400 further inpatients are discharged by March this year.

‘Paradigm shift’ in construction collaboration sought

Polypipe – the manufacturer of ‘sustainable drainage and water management solutions’ – says it is proud to be one of the founding members of the C3 Alliance, a group of manufacturers, contractors, and developers, who aim to boost productivity and value on construction projects through early collaboration. ‘By bringing all those involved in a building together on day one’, C3 hopes to influence design and procurement decisions ‘to create schemes that deliver higher returns on investment and better outcomes for those using the buildings’. “The C3 Alliance is championing one of our main goals: to be involved much earlier in the process so we can contribute to true value engineering,” said Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Divisional managing director, Polypipe Civils & Infrastructure. “Value engineering should not be about cutting cost in a project’s latter stages; it should be about delivering more with less through bringing together competent people early enough.”

Mental health crisis plan access for paramedics to 'go live'

Paramedics will soon be able to access the mental health crisis plans of emergency patients while on the move, following the successful first pilot phase of the National Record Locator. Initial tests gave ambulance staff in pilot areas the ability to see whether someone they were treating had a mental health crisis plan. The pilot will now expand, giving paramedics the crisis plan itself, so they can make the right clinical decisions on the ground, instead of taking the patient to A&E units or referring back to other health professionals with access to the information. The first full record retrieval takes place this month (November 2019), with an additional three mental health Trusts joining the nine already involved with the first phase.

'Hundreds more’ psychiatric beds needed to help end out-of-area placements

‘Hundreds more’ NHS mental health beds are needed urgently in England to help end what it dubs the ‘shameful’ practice of sending severely ill patients far from home for treatment, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned. An independent report commissioned by the Royal College last December, Exploring Mental Health Inpatient Capacity across Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships in England, which was published on 6 November this year, estimates that 1,060 more mental health beds are needed to reduce bed-occupancy rates ‘to acceptable levels’.

P+HS announces new MD

Well-known architectural practice, P+HS Architects, which has its roots in Yorkshire and the North East, has announced that after 32 years with the firm – the last 10 as MD – Joe Biggs will retire at the end of November, and will be succeeded by co-director, Chris Dennis, with whom he has worked with and known for 40 years. Following an early career in the south of England with a multidisciplinary practice, Joe Biggs has spent most of his working life with P+HS Architects, where he began his long association with healthcare. His first project was for Teesside Hospice, and, continuing along the healthcare route from that point, he went on to be involved in hundreds of successful projects – from small refurbishments to major new build hospitals and health centres.

Polyflor announces P22 Recommended Supplier status

Polyflor, one of the UK’s leading vinyl flooring manufacturers, has been appointed as a recommended supplier to the ProCure22 (P22) Construction Procurement Framework. Administered by the Department of Health & Social Care, the P22 framework was created ‘to provide the NHS with the tools to deliver improved estate performance while lowering construction and maintenance costs’.

Deanestor acquires Havelock International

‘One of the UK’s best-known hospital furniture and fit-out brands’, Fife-based Havelock, has been acquired out of administration by contract furniture specialist, Deanestor for an undisclosed sum. Deanestor said: “The Fife-based Havelock business became a UK market-leader in the manufacture and installation of furniture in the healthcare sector.” Havelock Europa Plc was listed on the main London Stock Exchange for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018, with a peak turnover of £138 m in 2008. In 2001 it acquired ESA McIntosh. Havelock International was incorporated in 2016, and in 2018 the business of Havelock Europa was sold to Havelock International. The deal for the intangible assets of Havelock International also includes the hospital fit-out brand, ESA Healthcare.

Prompt access to appropriate mental healthcare an issue, says CQC

The Care Quality Commission’s annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England, 'State of Care 2018/19', shows that quality ratings have been maintained overall – but suggests that people’s experience of care is determined by whether they can access good care when they need it.

Over eighty per cent of NHS leaders say lack of investment’ is ‘putting patients at risk of harm’

A new survey released today by NHS Providers has found that 82% (161) of NHS Trust leaders think the current climate of restricted capital funding ‘poses a medium or high risk to patient safety’, and could undermine plans to transform the NHS.

Steel coating’s anti-bacterial properties proven in university trial

Scientists at the University of Birmingham say they have created an antimicrobial coating for steel surfaces which has proven in a trial to rapidly kill bacteria that cause some of the most common hospital-acquired infections.

Reuse platform proves major success at Royal Trust

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has – as it puts it – ‘smashed targets’, saving £242,681 in 19 months, and triumphing in the Reuse category of the NHS Sustainability Awards, with the help of the Warp It system that helps staff to reuse and recycle.

'Digital transformation’ in physical security

Abloy UK has launched a new RIBA-approved CPD training course, entitled ‘Digital Transformation in Physical Security’, which attendees can complete to achieve double CPD points.

Helping those with learning difficulties find fulfilling jobs

An innovative partnership with Engage to Change – a scheme in Wales which helps those aged 16-25 with learning disabilities and / or autism develop their work skills through paid work placements – is ‘helping to change the lives’ of such young people in North Wales, with the support of the NHS.

Enhancing quality of life for those with a learning disability

Vodafone Business Ventures and learning disabilities charity, Mencap, say their newly launched ‘Connected Living’ scheme aims to use Internet of things (IoT) technology and connectivity to enhance the quality of life for people with a learning disability via ‘bespoke software adapted to meet the unique needs of its users’.

Social care ‘severely underfunded’, says Economic Affairs Committee

The Government should spend £8 billion immediately ‘to restore the quality of and access to adult social care in England to acceptable levels’, and then introduce free personal care, funded through general taxation, over a five-year period, says a House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report, 'Social care funding: time to end a national scandal', published on 4 July.

Measures part of ‘overhaul of society’s approach to mental illness’

Extra funding to help local authorities strengthen and deliver local suicide prevention plans, updated professional standards for England’s social workers to increase their knowledge and skills when helping those with mental health issues, and training for all new teachers on spotting the signs of mental ill health, were among ‘a raft of prevention measures’ unveiled by Prime Minister, Theresa May, on 17 June.

'Transformational design' for Saskatchewan facility

Canada’s new $405m Saskatchewan North Battleford Hospital in North Battleford, Saskatchewan provides a 284-bed mental health facility with 188 beds, replacing the existing 156-bed facility, and a 96-room secure unit for male and female offenders living with mental illness.

Best practice guide on key copy protection

The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has launched a Best Practice Guide entitled ‘How to obtain Key Copy Protection: security and protection advice regarding copying of keys’, which it says offers information on minimising the risk of a security breach by preventing the unauthorised copying of keys.

Nature’s therapeutic benefits outlined in new guide

'The Nature Issue', the fourth in a series of ‘Design with People in Mind’ booklets published by the Design in Mental Health Network to date, takes a broad-ranging look at the ‘multi-sensorial’ therapeutic benefits of nature on the well-being and recovery of those with a range of mental healthcare issues. Once again co-authored by Professor Paul Reavey, Professor of Psychology at London South Bank University (LSBU) and lead of the DIMHN’s Research and Education workstream, and Katharine Harding, an associate at Conran and Partners and doctoral researcher at LSBU, the guide is based on ‘a summary of evidence’, and considers the way in which nature impacts on how people behave, ‘contributing to the overall atmosphere and management of healthcare environments’. While acknowledging that space and funding constraints can preclude the provision of large outdoor areas for service-users and staff in some mental healthcare settings, the introduction says evidence suggests that ‘access to even small amounts of nature’ can reduce stress and aggression for many, which can in turn increase safety and ‘perhaps facilitate ‘less risk-averse’ practices.

McAvoy appoints first CEO and a new MD as it highlights growth plans

Offsite construction specialist, the McAvoy Group, has appointed its first CEO and a new MD, further strengthening its management team, and says it has plans to double the size of its existing business by 2025. Eugene Lynch (pictured left), the company’s managing director since 2007, has taken up the position of chief executive; he will lead the Group’s expansion into the residential sector, and spearhead the investment, development, and launch, of a new offsite housing factory. Meanwhile Mark Lowry (right) has joined as MD, taking full responsibility for the existing business and the continued delivery of its strategic growth plan. He has over 30 years’ experience leading highly successful companies in the construction industry. He was formerly Group director of CRH, the world’s second largest building materials group, with 90,000 staff and sales of €26.8 billion, and, prior to that, managing director of Northstone, Northern Ireland’s largest building materials and construction group, which includes Farrans Construction.