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News archive - July 2014

Review: Design in Mental Health Conference 2014

Review: Design in Mental Health Conference 2014

An anti-ligature door safety system, a flagship psychiatric centre for children and young people, and the team behind the creation of a modern new facility in Shrewsbury were among those singled out for praise at the first Design in Mental Health Awards.

Announced during a Hollywood Golden Age-themed dinner on the evening of the first day of this year’s conference, the winners were chosen by a panel of esteemed judges, which included Bev Lamey from the University of Central Lancashire; Gary Barnes of construction company, Kier; and Rosemary Jenssen of Architects for Health.

The winner of the Design Project of the Year Award was Junction 17, a new children and adolescent mental health unit in Prestwich.

The impatient facility, designed by Gilling Dod Architects, provides a modern, uplifting and non-institutional environment for 24 young people.

Opened in September last year, it has been heavily praised by staff, patients and families, with the quality of the spatial design and healing environment noted by the judges.

The second award of the evening was the Project Team of the Year prize. This went to the group responsible for The Redwoods Centre, a 112-bed mental health village on the site of the former Shelton Hospital in Shrewsbury.

Built by BAM and designed by Nightingale Associates, the £46m project was commissioned by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and involved a great deal of consultation with end users and other key stakeholders.

Product manufacturers also went head to head in a battle for the title of Product Innovation of The Year. Shortlisted in this category were Primera’s CLIK range of load release products; Britplas’s Safesee Door; Intastop’s Intastop Door Top Alarm; and Safehinge’s Symphony door safety system.

The winner was Safehinge’s first-generation Symphony range, which comprises the ALUmax safe door pivot system, MOVAstop removable doorstop, SUREclose overhead concealed door closer and SWIFTdor rapid installation door frame.

Commenting on its success, a Safehinge spokesman said: “Following the success of Symphony since launching it at last year’s exhibition, we were challenged to find a solution to another vital door issue within the mental health market. Our new version of Symphony resolves this issue, helping to further improve service users’ recovery while remaining anti-ligature, anti-barricade and fire-rated.”

A gong was also presented for Service User Design Champion of the Year. This was awarded to the SEED Project at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. The programme brings together service users, healthcare staff, designers and researchers, encouraging stakeholder involvement throughout the design process.

Finally, there was the Award for Services to Mental Health and Design. This was given to Joe Forster, chairman of the Design in Mental Health Network.

A clinical nurse, he has been involved in mental health care for the past 30 years, driving the design of innovative new facilities in Merseyside. He was also instrumental in the launch of the Design in Mental Health Network and the conference.

Presenting his award, Lamey said: “Joe has been involved right from the start of this network and his focus has always been on user involvement.

“He has chaired the network for seven years and it seemed appropriate in the first year of these awards that we should recognise his achievements.”

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