Safety and hygiene are paramount in mental health facilities, where vulnerable patients require a secure and clean environment for their well-being. Neglecting these elements can result in self-harm incidents and the spread of infections, impacting both patients and staff.
In this blog, we’re going to explore two transformative case studies, highlighting the importance of safety and hygiene improvements in the mental health unit.
Mental Health Hospital & Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit in South Wales
The primary objective of this project in a mental health hospital & psychiatric intensive care unit in South Wales, a low to medium secure mental health establishment, is to eliminate ligature risks and stash points within the facility, improving the safety of both patients and staff.
Ligature Risks: The facility faced substantial ligature risks, posing serious threats to both patient and staff safety. These risks included objects or points within the facility that could be used for self-harm or suicide attempts.
Lack of Easy Access for Cleaning and Maintenance: The existing radiator covers within the facility were not designed with easy access for cleaning and maintenance in mind. This lack of accessibility raised concerns about hygiene within the facility, which was particularly critical in healthcare settings.
Hidden Medications and Self-Harm Items: Gaps in radiator covers provided hiding spots for patients to stash medications and potential self-harm items, compromising patient well-being.
To address these challenges, the facility chose to upgrade all existing radiator covers to DeepClean Extra anti-ligature covers. These specialised covers were designed to mitigate self-harm risks and facilitate regular cleaning.
Mental Health Trust in Southeast England
In this project for a Mental Health Trust in Southeast England, the primary objective was to address the ligature risks and eliminate stash points that existed due to old and outdated radiators.
Old and Outdated Radiators: The facility grappled with outdated radiator systems, ill-suited for the demanding environment of a mental healthcare facility.
Ligature Risks and Unsafe Radiator Cover Design: The lack of anti-ligature design features in radiator covers posed a significant risk of self-harm incidents. The sharp corners of the existing radiators also added to the self-harm risks and raised safety concerns for patients and staff.
No Easy Access for Cleaning and Maintenance: Inadequate access hindered cleaning efforts, creating hygiene and infection control challenges. This was particularly problematic for infection control, and in cases of "dirty protests," it was challenging to achieve thorough cleaning, which could result in the spread of germs and odour problems.
The facility decided to replace the outdated radiators with anti-ligature designs from the DeepClean Extra range, significantly improving the safety and hygiene standards of the mental health unit.
Common Challenges Found When Heating Mental Health Units
In both case studies, the common challenges centred around the presence of ligature risks, issues related to cleaning and maintenance, and the potential for hidden stash points. These recurrent challenges, often encountered in mental healthcare facilities, pose significant threats to the safety and hygiene standards of the facility, as well as the well-being of both patients and staff.
The significance of heating systems, though often underestimated, its importance cannot be underestimated. Selecting a heating system without due consideration can trigger a chain reaction of adverse consequences, e.g. an elevated risk of self-harm incidents, accidents, spread of infections, increased energy costs due to inefficient heating, needless expenses from frequent system maintenance or replacements due to poor quality, and undue stress on facility management.
Overlooking safety and hygiene considerations when choosing the heating system for your mental healthcare facility does more than create immediate safety risks; it can also impact the overall reputation and regulatory compliance of your facility. This makes it important to invest in a suitable heating system that can effectively address your facility's unique needs and withstand the test of time.
Key Features Of A Safe Heating System For Mental Healthcare
While there are many radiator covers that claim to be anti-ligature, their effectiveness varies. It's crucial to select covers designed by industry experts who understand the unique challenges of mental healthcare settings and incorporate essential safety design features for optimal performance and protection.
Anti-ligature and anti-microbial features
Choose radiator covers with anti-ligature and anti-microbial properties to mitigate self-harm risks and maintain facility cleanliness. - expand on what makes it Anti-lig.
The size customisation ensures that covers fit perfectly, leaving no gaps that could serve as potential stash points, which is often overlooked but crucial for comprehensive risk reduction.
Select radiator covers made from durable materials that can withstand the rigours of a healthcare environment. - expand on this a little bit
Easy access and maintenance
Opt for designs that facilitate straightforward cleaning and maintenance, like the DeepClean Extra with a full drop-down/removable door that allows full access for cleaning to uphold hygiene standards.
Specialist Safe Heating For Mental Health Facilities: DeepClean Extra
The DeepClean Extra range is a specialist heating solution designed in response to real-life challenges encountered in the mental healthcare sector. It ensures the products remain attuned to the evolving and unique needs of the environment, mitigating potential safety risks.
Built with robust and durable 1.5-2mm Zintec Steel or Magnellis Steel for wet rooms, this range is engineered to withstand demanding environments with ease. The anti-ligature design incorporates IP3X-rated grilles tested by a UKAS-accredited laboratory and certified to protect against the ingress of objects greater than 2.5mm in diameter. Anti-ligature TRV kits are also available to allow service users to take control of their heating to increase comfort levels.
Get in touch today and book a free consultation with one of our heating experts to discuss anti-ligature heating solutions for your facilities.