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16 Aug

Case Study | Sussex Partnership Trust’s Safedoors

Sussex Trust Safedoors

The YewdaleKestrel® Safedoor has been transforming anti-ligature spaces since its launch in 2015. Made entirely from specialist lightweight foam with an anti-microbial vinyl material cover, the door is a soft and safe alternative to curtains or hard-doors. The magnetic hinge allows it to separate from the door frame with no resistance, following a unique anti-ligature feature found in all YewdaleKestrel® products.

The Safedoor fades into the background, serving its primary purpose of privacy whilst preventing the formation of a ligature point in a key area of risk – the en-suite. No wonder the Safedoor has been a hit with NHS trusts and private care groups up and down the country!

Head of Estates for Sussex Partnership Trust, Colin Reeves, first saw the Safedoor being exhibited on Yewdale’s stand at the Design For Mental Health exhibition in 2016. He knew they were perfect for his mental health wards in Sussex, yet he needed to convince the Trust’s Anti-Ligature Group.

‘When I initially presented the Safedoor to the Anti-Ligature Group, people were sceptical,’ says Colin, remembering back to the early demonstrations. ‘Some people were worried patients would just use it as an exercise mat or an expensive towel rail.’

Colin was persistent and requested Yewdale develop the product so that it suited to the demands of the Anti-Ligature Group and the Trust, ultimately quashing any concerns or doubt in the process.

‘Yewdale launched an eight-magnet version of the Safedoor, meaning it didn’t come off as easily but still maintained it’s anti-ligature purpose and shape,’ says Colin.

Sussex Partnership Trust took their first Safedoor delivery in early 2017 and, at the time of writing this article in Summer 2018, the Trust continues to place orders regularly. Colin plans to ensure all mental health care en-suites have Safedoors installed.

‘Before we used Safedoors we had curtains and cut off doors to provide privacy. Most of the time the curtains were pulled down and stuffed down the toilet to block it and flood the room. The cut-off doors were never a reliable anti-ligature product,’ explains Colin.

Identifying that whilst a Safedoor costs more than safety hooks and paper curtains, Colin also knew Safedoors require no maintenance and couldn’t be damaged. However, the results extend far beyond finances.

Before the Safedoors were installed the Trust had a real problem with people using bathroom doors to commit suicide. It was scored as 81 (the highest score) using the Manchester Ligature Audit Tool, an assessment to identify areas of risk.

By installing the Safedoors, the score dropped to 9, the lowest possible score.

‘Since we’ve installed the Safedoors we have had no suicides involving bathroom doors,’ says Colin.

However, most importantly, Colin recalls speaking with a patient about a Safedoor recently installed in their room.

‘The patient said: ‘I understand from time-to-time I go into crisis and really run the risk of harming myself. I feel safer knowing the door is in place,’’ said Colin. ‘I think that testimonial says it all.’

Whilst the Safedoor’s main purpose is to discreetly provide safety, it is by no means a single use system. The Safedoor provides art and colour in a space that could otherwise be institutional and bleak, making the patient feel at ease and ultimately helping the overall wellbeing of the patient. Combine this with the need for privacy and dignity for the patient, hospitals can achieve far more with a Safedoor than without.

‘I have no hesitation recommending Safedoors to other Head of Estates or Managers,’ says Colin. ‘YewdaleKestrel® Safedoors provide the perfect solution to a real problem.’

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