As we know, managing risk in our hospital settings is critical, together with creating therapeutic care environments for Service Users, and good working environments for our staff.
Until now there has been no formal process across the NHS or private sector for reliably testing or assessing products’ suitability for use in mental health environments, ensuring not only robustness is understood, but also ligature safety.
DIMHN has partnered with Building Research Establishment (BRE) and worked with over 100 experts from the field during the past 7 years to create a global testing method for all products used in mental health. One of the biggest steps is providing manufacturers the ability to get an independent assessment on the ligature performance of their product by a UKAS accredited test body. This will also provide a graded performance, moving away from the absolute ‘anti-ligature’ term which is misleading and dangerous.
You’ll find more information on the dedicated BRE page.
Tried. TESTED. TRUE.
We will ask suppliers to provide DIMHN/BRE Informed Choices product performance assessment going forward. Initially this will be encouraged, with preferential consideration given for products backed by independent performance assessment.
No minimum performance will be required, but performance of different products will be compared.
With time and experience of the Informed Choices product assessment information, this will become a mandatory requirement for supply to our organisation by 2025. This will allow time for all suppliers to test their products.
The following organisations are already committed to both pledges and we are working hard to build a consensus across the mental health community that will see many more join us.