Ensuring the safety of people with mental illness whilst in an inpatient facility is critical and can often be affected by the products selected for the built environment. A lack of clear guidance or ability to assess multiple options limits innovation and the improvement of these spaces.
That’s why DIMHN were pleased to have partnered with Building Research Establishment (BRE) to launch ‘Informed Choices: Testing Guidance for Products in Mental Health Facilities’. Both organisations have worked with over 150 experts across the mental health sector in the past five years.
We know for those who are sourcing products for mental health environments, understanding whether they are suitable for the intended clinical strategy is a key issue and one in which there is currently much room for improvement.
It is essential that innovation is encouraged and that new and existing products used in mental health environments are assessed for self-harm risks using an independent and repeatable format. In that respect, this Testing Guide aims to:
- Ensure patient and staff safety is not compromised by inappropriate selection of products for current and future use
- Communicate product-testing requirements to manufacturers to enable them to supply a product that is appropriate for the environment in which it is to be used
- Help procurement teams to better evaluate manufacturers’ products, including adoption of innovative solutions
- Discourage the proliferation of expensive and timely siloed testing by NHS Trusts and authorities
- Provide performance categorisation criteria for products that can easily be referred to by contractors, specifiers, procurement teams and manufacturers
- Improve efficiency and design costs
This Testing Guide will form the basic test methodology for a new certification scheme to be run by BRE. This methodology is currently in the final stages of set-up, having been delayed slightly due to COVID-19. We hope to make this testing available as soon as government advice allows.
In the meanwhile, please take the time to order a free copy of the Testing Guide here and learn how you, as a product manufacturer, can ready yourself for testing.