UK setting new standards in building mental health facilities
Construction products are now being tested to assess whether they are safe to use in mental health care facilities.
A new product certification scheme, called Informed Choices, is being rolled out by the Building Research Establishment and non-profit group Design in Mental Health Network (DIMHN).
The aim is to minimise the scope for vulnerable patients to self-harm on the fixtures and fittings of a building, and to promote the selection of standardised approved products.
The certification scheme, the result of a five-year partnership between BRE and DIMHN, offers testing guidance for materials, fixtures and hardware for use within mental healthcare facilities. The hope is that it will simplify procurement and reduce costs for NHS trusts and other health authorities.
This is believed to be the world’s first standard to assess the safety of products used in mental health care and treatment facilities.