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Britplas launch new Multask handle for mental health environments

Britplas have launched a new operating handle for their award-winning Safevent window. The Multask was launched at Design in Mental Health 2019 and replaces three separate pieces of hardware, bringing improvements in both functionality and aesthetics.

The Safevent window is designed specifically for mental health environments, providing safety and security whilst also allowing natural light and ventilation and a high degree of patient control. Up to now, the window controls have comprised a ‘wizzy winder’, patient thumb lock and staff lock. The new patented Multask handle provides the functionality of all three components within an anti-ligature, stainless steel shell that has passed all relevant industry tests for mental health environments.

The brand-new handle can be stopped at any point of being open or closed, giving both the service user and staff increased flexibility over both ventilation and privacy. The anti-tamper design of the staff lock greatly reduces the potential for damage and associated maintenance costs.

“The Multask was very well received at the recent Design in Mental Health exhibition” commented Britplas head of sales Neil Guest.

“Innovation is an important part of our culture at Britplas and the continuous improvement of our proprietary product range will always be a priority. We have completed the first window installations using the new hardware and feedback has been very positive..”

All smiles as Fortress Fencing is installed!

Britplas have completed the refurbishment of the courtyard fencing on Holt Ward at Newtown Hospital in Worcester – a mental health assessment ward for patients in acute crisis. The project was commissioned by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, who needed a more secure perimeter solution than the previous installation, reducing the chance of absconsion whilst helping to create a relaxed and calming environment.

Our Fortress Fencing was installed over two phases to minimize disruption for the day-to-day operation of the ward and the lives of service users living there. The 2.4m fence, printed with a woodland scene, was designed in collaboration with the client to provide a therapeutic space which would also contain people with wide-ranging mental health issues.

People are admitted to Holt Ward for a 14-day assessment period to understand their care -requirements. As service users’ needs are wide-ranging, the facility must conform to the standards expected of high secure facilities.

Bev Hardiman, the Ward Manager commented “We wanted a fence which would meet our security requirements but would also add an ambience to the environment where it could be used as a therapeutic calming space. The Britplas team were fabulous from start to finish, they took our ideas and created something fit for purpose! The team worked for a cause and not for applause!”

Bright Thinking leads to continuous development of products

Since its inception in 2006, Britplas’ Safevent window for mental health has evolved through 8 models whilst the sill used has remained the same until recently.

With every detail of our proprietary window products under constant review, our dedicated research and development department has recently been focusing on improvements to the sill design of the Safevent. Key to the drainage efficiency and the overall aesthetics of the window, the development process has resulted in a new, mental health specific, Safevent variant with four brand new sill profiles for both internal and external sliding Safevents following a 6-month process.

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we removed the need for press-in plastic drainage caps and minimised the chances of the drainage channel being blocked, creating a more efficient system.

 

The Britplas way

Bright Thinking is one of our core values at Britplas, and the continuous improvement of our products through the R&D department is key in Britplas maintaining this principle. The Safevent window, our flagship product for the mental health sector, is always under review. The new sill is the latest adaptation using our philosophy to ensure that clients have access to the best products and service possible

Britplas’ Research and Development Manager Steve McGuire explains more about this latest development:

 

How long did the process take?

The process took around 6 months – the new sills were designed in about a month. We then had to produce die drawings and source which thermal breaks would work best with the extrusions. Accurate die drawings were then sent out to 3 extruding companies for pricing. We then produced a cost comparison spreadsheet to compare all the extrusion costs including die costs. The next task was to look at rolling and painting costs from the powder coaters. This all took around 6 weeks.

The next stage involved ordering sample extrusion lengths for testing. Drainage test results for all four sill profiles were excellent, so we knew we had cracked the design. Production was ordered including extrusion, rolling and painting, and we prepared the product for internal launch including the creation of an ECN pack, issuing of Britplas part numbers and drawings for the sills and end caps, and full briefings held with our procurement, design, production and sales teams.

 

When was the Safevent mental health sill last altered?

The Safevent sill design has not altered significantly over the past six years.

 

What extra functionality has been added and why is this important in mental health?

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we have been able to remove the press-in plastic drainage caps which service users could potentially break off the windows leaving unsightly slots in the face of the Safevent. There was also the possibility of blockage due to the path of the drainage through the frames.

By switching the drainage through the bottom of the frames, no slots are visible so there is no need for plastic drain covers any longer. This has also allowed us to extend the drainage slots through the frame to allow water to drain through the system much more quickly and effectively. This prevents any water from pooling in the frame.

Safevent Access now available in uPVC

2018 looks set to be another year of innovation for Britplas with our latest window model, the Safevent Access, now available in uPVC. Originally developed in aluminium, uPVC prototypes were developed and tested throughout 2017, and the new window is now finalised and in production. Working with our profile suppliers Eurocell, new dies have been cast to ensure that production capacity is able to match demand for the new Safevent Access. The product is already proving of interest to several of our key clients within the mental health sector.

The continuous development of the Safevent aims to ensure that our clients have the most comprehensive range of solutions available to choose from. The Access offers a high degree of flexibility for maintenance and ease of access whilst retaining industry leading levels of robustness and natural ventilation.

Since its inception in 2006, Britplas has supplied and fitted over 40,000 Safevent windows to facilities around the world. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions regarding this or any Britplas product, or if you would like to request a demonstration.

Britplas sign off on two projects in Australia

Britplas have recently completed the installation of their award-winning Safevent window to two new mental health facilities in Adelaide, South Australia.

Flinders Medical Centre

One of only two major trauma centres in South Australia, Flinders Medical Centre has to deal with a wide range of issues and a broad patient demographic. Britplas were commissioned to provide aluminium internal sliding Safevent windows – chosen for their ease of use and versatility across a variety of situations, with integrated blinds to protect from the Australian sun. The overall project value was £100k, and involved the fit out of a brand new 30 bed older persons mental health unit.

Flinders Medical Centre is the second international job that Britplas and Cheeseman Architects, based in Adelaide, have worked on together.

The Veterans Mental Health Precinct

Also based in Adelaide but in Glenside, The Veterans Mental Health Precinct represents $15million investment from South Australia Health to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related cases.

Britplas provided aluminium external sliding Safevents with integral blinds and flush locks to the new purpose-built facility, and installation was overseen by a Britplas Site Manager, Steven Gittens.

The new facility incorporates the existing Intermediate Care Centre (ICC) building and comprises 24 bedrooms, a gymnasium, research spaces and gardens.

The two facilities are the latest in a series of international projects undertaken by Britplas, as the Safevent window continues to prove itself a global market leader in mental health fenestration.

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