Meeting the challenge of Mental Healthcare provision with smart design and latest thinking about the delivery of Mental Health services are the focus of this brochure.
Why Quattro Design Architects?
With over 20 years’ experience working in both outpatient and inpatient Mental Health buildings, we have an in-depth understanding of the issues and challenges associated with these services and how they impact on the design and implementation of Mental Health facilities for both patients and staff.
A case study of our internationally acclaimed PICU is featured later in this brochure.
Our Talented Team
Meeting the Challenge of Mental Healthcare Provision with Smart Design
As COVID-19 takes its toll and the ever-increasing demand for Mental Health services weighs heavily on current Mental Healthcare provision, the way in which Mental Health services are delivered is changing fast.
Looking to the future, Community Monitoring could play an important role in the management of our nation’s mental health with the introduction of Mental Health Screening for groups most impacted by COVID-19, or Digital Phenotyping for the assessment and prediction of mental health outcomes facilitating a switch from individual-based approaches to population-wide screening.
From sensitively designed physical units to online systems and “Skype Rooms”, exemplar, adaptable, state-of-the-art Mental Health Design can support medical practitioners to reach and treat more patients, more rapidly, in new and improved ways.
An urgent response is vital as demand for Mental Health Services continues to grow. Recent changes (pre-COVID-19) in both the awareness and perception of Mental Health, coupled with the aftermath of Mental Health issues created by COVID-19, suggest that this pressure is likely to increase before it eases.
This is creating a major shift in the placement and priority of Mental Health within Healthcare Trusts at a time when a different approach to Mental Health treatment has also been identified.
Such changes call for an urgent review of Property Development or Estates Programmes and the need for both new modular type facilities and/ or the re-purposing of existing facilities, where a flexible-use approach through shared or adaptable services can provide additional resource to Clinical Service Teams.
“Design quality is important in the context of a healthcare building, where a well-designed PICU can help patients recover their mental and physical health and wellbeing and have a positive effect on staff performance, morale and retention.”
(National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units)
Quattro Design Architects - PICU Case study
Working closely with the clinical team, our creative, ground-breaking design provides a series of individual enclosed gardens creating separation between the two buildings with bedrooms carefully, and strategically located to provide a sense of privacy.
Whilst sitting within close proximity of lime trees, the building envelope undulates around the root protection zones to maximise use of the site footprint, whilst maintaining space for the trees to grow, a feat made more challenging by the parameters mentioned above. The choice of external cladding material encourages a sustainable, sensitive environment by carefully considering the deposit of sap from the lime trees, allowing for self-cleaning by rain.
“As clinical lead for the project, I was extremely impressed with the ability of the designer to use creative flair transforming the core functional requirements of the unit into something quite special.”
This state-of-the-art Healthcare design is based around creating a warm, safe, welcoming, non-institutional environment that effectively facilitates interaction between staff and patients, avoiding situations that could lead to isolation. This included maximising strong linear sight lines, avoiding blind spots and enabling observation and management by staff. This is achieved by a central node which houses the staff accommodation with bedroom wings either side and wide curved corridors to give a friendly, all encapsulating experience, ensuring the maintenance of safe escape routes for staff such that neither staff nor patient feel trapped. Noise control and access to natural light are also inclusive to the design to provide a calm, quiet and natural environment.
Patient safety is key to Mental Health Architecture, with anti-ligature design throughout, requiring close integration of mechanical and electrical systems within the spatial design. Additional safety features included specially designed en-suite doors and built in patient monitor systems.
“The close co-operation between clinical staff and the architects resulted in an exceptional building. The project management by Quattro Design was also outstanding”
(Roland Dix, Consultant Nurse and Editor in Chief, International Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care)
With Sustainable Architecture at the heart of Quattro’s ethos, low energy consumption was a key design objective. To achieve this, various measures were put in place, including a well-insulated, airtight envelope, high levels of natural lighting, solar water heating, wind catchers for ventilation and rainwater harvesting.
Greyfriars has been hailed as exceptional, not only in terms of innovative Mental Health Design but also as considered and sustainable Healthcare Architecture. It has now been visited by some of the leading international experts in acute psychiatric care, some of whom have commented that the unit may be amongst the best in the world.
Quattro’s Mental Health Experience and Expertise
Quattro has over 20 years’ design experience across a broad range of Mental Health service provision within Gloucestershire, the Midlands and the South West.
We have worked on projects associated with all 5 main care groups and fully comprehend the issues associated with serious mental illness.
Our talented and highly skilled Mental Health Team are well equipped to design schemes which address the challenges posed:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services:
We have worked with Multi-Disciplinary Community Health Teams on projects delivering local services, often incorporated within larger multi-use buildings.
Adults of Working Age:
Acute in-patient services, treatment and rehabilitation have formed a significant part of the work of our dedicated Mental Health Team over the past 8 years and we have been fortunate to work with some of the leading experts in the field.
Services for People with Learning Disabilities:
Within the NHS we have been involved in the alteration of 2 in-patient facilities at Westridge and Hollybrook House, Stroud and 4 out-patient day centres.
Services for Older Age Adults with a Learning Disability:
We have extensive experience in buildings for older people, in particular incorporating Dementia facilities.
Quattro have designed and delivered a number of projects to meet the needs of substance misuse, including clinics, day care facilities and in-patient schemes.
Our Modernisation Work
Our modernisation work, to Mental Health in-patient and out-patient buildings over the past 20 years, has provided us with invaluable experience in these areas:
Anti-ligature issues: Including purpose designed furniture.
Noise control: Providing good acoustic separation between sensitive spaces and within open plan office environments.
Circulation and access control: We aim to create simple circulation systems, avoiding blind spots and enabling observation and management by staff.
Patient and staff safety: We design safe escape routes for staff, such that neither staff nor patients feel trapped.
Non-institutional design:Access to natural lighting is important to provide a quiet, calm and natural environment, where views of the outside should be available.
Consultation: The design process must include active participation of clinical and non-clinical staff – an interdisciplinary approach.
M&E integration:We are particularly aware of the health and safety issues associated with mechanical & electrical systems and the need for their close integration within the spatial design.
Multi-functional design: Designing rooms that are flexible to meet the needs of different users and uses.
Site safety and accessibility: Including designing parking areas to ensure pedestrians are separated from vehicles where possible, with visitor parking clearly signposted and close to the main entrance.
Do you need to update your Feasibility and Mental Health Services Strategy?
Quattro delivers both traditional Consultancy Services for community-based units as well as Digital Services for online video conferencing.