RECENT NEWS

Enhancing quality of life for those with a learning disability

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. Downing Street said the measures – ‘part of an overhaul of society’s approach to mental illness’ – would ‘make sure people have the confidence and skills they need to identify mental health issues before they become critical, particularly in young people’.
'Transformational design' for Saskatchewan facility

'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. The completed project was delivered under a P3 contract by Access Prairies Partnership, a consortium led by Graham Construction. Medical Architecture led the clinical design, with executive design team, Kasian, and Integrus Architecture & WSP.

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. The DHF explains: “To copy a key, one has to obtain a suitable key ‘blank’ onto which the individual key code can be copied. Many generic key blanks are readily available to UK locksmiths and key cutters, making obtaining key copies convenient, but a risk to security.

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

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.

Bartlett Institute launches ‘unique’ Healthcare Facilities MSc

UCL’s Bartlett Real Estate Institute (BREI) in London is launching a ‘unique’ MSc programme in Healthcare Facilities that will explore how the physical environment affects healthcare. The Healthcare Facilities MSc, reportedly the UK’s first of its kind, will consider the challenges facing healthcare real estate provision and operation, and provide healthcare and built environment professionals with the knowledge to plan, design, and manage facilities. Those running the course say it will help participants prepare for a rewarding career in sectors such as healthcare planning, architecture, or construction, or in the capital/estates and facilities departments of healthcare services.

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

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

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’.

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