5 June 2024 Seminars

09:15 - 09:30

CEO Welcome


09:30 - 10:30

Keynote: HMP Stirling – Therapeutic and Trauma Informed Approaches to Custodial Design

HMP & YOI Stirling is a groundbreaking new custodial facility for Women in custody in Scotland. The design is heavily focus on mental wellbeing and a trauma informed approach to design, creating a therapeutic environment with landscape and nature at its core. The presentation seeks to explain the ethos behind the concept design, how the brief has been developed with input from key stakeholders throughout the design process, how the design of the completed facility creates a wellbeing focused environment, and attempts to offer some anecdotal evidence on positive outcomes from occupants and the wider community.



10:30 - 11:00


11:00 - 11:30

Collaboration and Co-Production – Impact on Design at RIS:ES Bexhill

Trust: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Architects & Interior Designers: Gilling Dod
PSCP: Kier

The design journey for RIS:ES has been one of co-production and collaboration which has been embraced by all stakeholders. The building brings together a variety of healthcare specialisms, including working age adult and older adult inpatient wards, with medical education and neuromodulation departments.

RIS:ES is to replace the existing Department of Psychiatry facilities in Eastbourne which has dormitory accommodation, restricted access to garden spaces, and is set in the clinical setting of Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Experts by experience have been at the core of the RIS:ES story, sharing their expertise and insights every step of the way with positivity and care. Their input has informed all aspects of the building design from the little details such as having tables with rounded corner in meeting rooms, to the big picture principles around room adjacencies and garden spaces.

The co-production approach has developed an innovated X-shaped ward typology which provides two gardens spaces per ward, en-suite bedrooms clustered into 3 groups of 6, single sided bedroom corridors, and connectivity to adjacent wards.

Trauma-informed, dementia-friendly, and neurodiversity-friendly design principles have been implemented and tested with trust specialists in those fields.

Co-production with staff has helped implement a diverse provision for staff welfare with localised staff rest room, lockers, changing rooms, and showers to each department.

Applying lessons learned also informed design, not least in the bedrooms. The P22 repeatable room bed position most preferred by service users was adopted. Half bay windows were added to provide a view out to landscaped grounds directly from the bed position.

This co-production approach has extended into the construction phase, with the PSCP Kier turning the collaborative working into the reality of a physical building.

RIS:ES is due to open in 2025.


  • Ed Dwight Senior Project Manager - Kier Construction Southern
  • Richard Barton Expert by Experience - Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paula Kirkland Programme Director, Redesigning Inpatients Services in East Sussex (RIS:ES) - Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Robin Graham Gilling Dod Architects
11:00 - 11:30

Delivering Mental Health Care in The Prison Estate – Where Are We And Where Are We Going?

There are high rates of both physical and mental health issues within the prison population. Rates of mental illness and poor physical health are disproportionately higher amongst prisoners.  National policy, legislation and strategies relating to prison healthcare are based on the principle of equivalence, with those incarcerated requiring equal access to a range of health care interventions.

Prisons, by their very nature are often challenging environments to deliver safe and effective healthcare.  At times, prisoners require transfer to hospital.

This presentation will look at delivering clinically safe healthcare in the prison estate, barriers to safe delivery and how future delivery can be supported.  It will consider national guidance on the safe transfer of prisoners to hospital and how future policies can improve access to healthcare for prisoners.


  • Laura Woods Consultant Nurse, Independent Prescriber Responsible Clinician, Forensic Healthcare Services - Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
11:00 - 12:00

Design for All

Altro and Floyd Slaski Architects have been working together in the last year to look at how to innovate the product selection process to help and identify Neurodiverse-friendly and Dementia-friendly palette of products on the basis of evidence based researches.

Altro has been running a series of successful workshops on 'Design for All' and neurodiversity friendly design principles.

Following a short presentation of main key principles, the workshop will explore how to apply these principles to different settings, such as hospitals, residential units, schools and higher education.

Product swatch samples will be available to complete a colourful and meaningful mood board.

Have you ever consider what a day to day journey mean for people with hidden disabilities? The workshop will help to understand and look at the design from a different sensorial perspective.

The presentation will focus on covering designing spaces with autism, neurodiversity, aged care and hidden disabilities in mind:

• impact of the layout,

• colour scheme and

• acoustic environment

• Working with stakeholder and specialist consultants

• Overcoming the challenge of working within an existing environment


11:00 - 11:30

Person Centred Approach: What Makes a Housing Project a Success?


  • Louise Morrison Occupational Therapist - Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust
11:30 - 12:00

A Service User’s Journey to Redesigning Mental Health Assessment Spaces in the Emergency Department

Patients with mental health disorders could find themselves in the emergency department in their most vulnerable state. However, CQC research has identified that these patients have a poorer perceived experience than other patient groups.

Increasingly, the physical needs for patients with mental health disorder in the emergency pathway have been addressed and dedicated places of safety are provided in the department. However, what have we put in place to safeguard a patient's psychological well-being in these environments?

As an architect and a service user, I would like to share personal experience of using these spaces in the emergency departments and the subsequent design project I undertook to redesign a mental health patient assessment room. This research project included testimonies from service users, families and ward staff.

This talk will highlight the benefits of broad collaboration, the importance of a strong relationship with stakeholders and securing post-occupancy feedback. It reflects on the rewards and difficulties of applying a Grounded Theory research methodology as opposed to a conventional building process.


  • William PC Wang Architect - Llewelyn Davies & Design in Mental Health Network
11:30 - 12:00

Seclusion Spaces Within NHS

‘Seclusion refers to the supervised confinement and isolation of a patient, away from other patients, in an area from which the patient is prevented from leaving, where it is of immediate necessity for the purpose of the containment of severe behavioural disturbance which is likely to cause harm to others.’ – Mental Health Act, 1983. The demand for these types of spaces were due to increased mental health demand and acuity linked to Covid-19. The previous system meant that patients were taken off-ward which had negative effects including: increased state of despair to the service user; increase safety risk to staff members whilst escorting to and from distant seclusion spaces; reduced staff numbers on the wards as a result of transfer off-ward; and Covid-19 related safety issues. This person centred approach helped to provide psychological informed environments and improve safety for staff and patients. The presentation will consist of the emergence of Seclusion suites drawing on the design of MPUFT’s examples/ case studies at Redwoods, Shrewsbury and St Georges Hospital, Stafford. The Redwoods seclusion suite was a purpose-built inpatient facility for adults with acute mental health problems, dementia and rehabilitation needs. It will outline outcomes, challenges and successes in relation to previously delivered projects to enhance learning on clinical, operational and estates areas within the NHS. It will focus on the key features and main design elements for seclusion and detailed accounts from clinical staff on their views and lessons learnt. From delivering multiple seclusion suites (new build and refurbishments) we feel that MPUFT provide the relevant expertise to enhance awareness and importance of seclusion in the overall healthcare sector.


  • Michelle Evans Associate Director of Capital - Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
11:30 - 12:00

Tuning into Mental Wellbeing

James Adamson & Kate Netten will introduce you to the innovative and successful National Prison Radio campaign ‘Sorry to Interrupt your Day’. Through the medium of National Prison Radio, the campaign took an innovative approach using soundscaping and foley sounds. These were layered with prisoner voices to get key evidence-based messages to prisoners about what can help their wellbeing. In the words of Freddie Mercury and Queen – “You had your time, you had the power. You've yet to have your finest hour”. Well “Sorry to Interrupt your Day” might just be it!


  • Kate Netten Evidence Specialist - HMPPS Evidence Based Practice Team
  • James Adamson Senior Manager, Mental Health Lead - HM Prison & Probation Service
12:00 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:30

Keynote: Art Insists The Walls Be Kind


  • Dolly Sen Artist - Mental Health & Justice Project
14:00 - 15:00

Redefining Assistive Equipment as Personalized Empowerment Tools

The intersection of design and mental health is a realm of immense potential. In today's world, assistive equipment is often associated solely with functionality and healthcare. However, this workshop aims to challenge this paradigm by shifting the focus from creating mere devices to crafting personalized, user-centric solutions that foster a profound emotional connection between users and their assistive equipment. We believe that by infusing design principles into assistive equipment, we can empower users, improve their mental well-being, and ultimately, transform lives.


Challenge Assumptions: Encourage participants to question traditional notions of assistive equipment design, emphasizing that these tools can go beyond mere functionality to become extensions of a person's identity.

Empathy-Centered Design: Promote a human-centered approach by teaching participants to empathize with users, their unique needs, and their emotional journeys when using assistive equipment.

User Engagement: Explore strategies for creating products that users will connect with on a personal level, breaking down the stigmatization associated with assistive devices and fostering a sense of pride and ownership.

Mental Health Impact: Examine the profound impact that personalized and empathetic design can have on the mental well-being of users, reducing feelings of isolation and enhancing self-esteem.

Workshop Content:

Understanding Mental Health: An introduction to the importance of mental health in design and its impact on user experience.

Human-Centered Design: Exploring principles of user-centered design, with an emphasis on empathy, inclusivity, and accessibility.

Design Thinking in Assistive Equipment: Applying design thinking methodologies to reimagine assistive equipment.

Personalization and User Engagement: Techniques for tailoring assistive equipment to individual preferences, needs, and styles.

Case Studies: Examining successful projects that have redefined assistive equipment and positively impacted users' mental health.

Collaborative Design: Hands-on exercises and group activities to apply workshop concepts and develop innovative ideas.

Expected Outcomes:
Participants will leave the workshop with a fresh perspective on design's potential to improve mental health through the creation of assistive equipment that is not just functional but deeply meaningful to users. They will gain practical skills in empathetic design thinking and user engagement strategies.

Target Audience:
This workshop is suitable for designers, engineers, healthcare professionals, and anyone interested in reshaping the landscape of assistive equipment design.

By reimagining assistive equipment as personalized empowerment tools, we can enhance the mental well-being of users, reduce stigma, and create a mo


  • Bruno Oro Assistant Professor - Iowa State University
14:30 - 15:00

A Whole New Way – Designing the New Cambridge Children’s Hospital

Cambridge Children’s Hospital (CCH) is the first children’s hospital in the UK to integrate physical and mental healthcare, bringing young people, their families, clinicians, and researchers into the same space to foster collaboration and innovation within the emerging Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC), the centre of Europe’s leading life sciences cluster.
The spatial organisation supports a new model of integration, where the hospital’s multiple departments are organised to share resources, create greater operational efficiency, and encourage collaboration to form a knowledge exchange between clinicians, and foster empathy between patients. This integration is most obvious at the ward levels, where mental and physical health units are co-located on each level to bring together patients of similar ages and establish correlations between mental and physical health conditions.
Clinically, this integration brings team members together to create an efficiency of space and service, consolidating hospital staff who are currently dispersed across several sites. More importantly, this provides opportunities to exchange novel insight and knowledge around the care of young people.

This new model is the first of its kind in the world and aims to treat the whole child, not just their underlying symptoms, by taking into account the mental health implications of long-term hospital stays and the physical health complications faced by patients with mental health conditions.
I will be joined by one of the clinical leads working on the CCH and our presentation will set out the following:
- The client’s vision for the CCH.
- How the design has responded to the client’s vision and brief.
- How the spatial organisation supports their model of integration and provides future flexibility.
- How we are designing with empathy and providing spaces that supports healing and responds to the needs of all involved: clinicians, parents, and children of all ages.


14:30 - 15:00

Arts For Arts Sake? Examining the Function of Art in Mental Health Settings: a Review of the Evidence

In this paper, we present the main themes included in this year's 'Design with People in Mind' publication, relating to the function of art in mental health settings. We will review the academic evidence and examine the outcomes of key innovative projects seeking to bring art into mental health environments and discuss whether claims surrounding the potential for art to contribute to recovery and healing, are valid.

Using our 'Vital Spaces' framework which emphasises the importance of vitality, as well as psychological and physical safety in mental health settings we examine whether art can meaningfully contribute to a felt sense of care and explore its role in facilitating recovery. Our aim is to glance a critical eye over recent initiatives to introduce art in hospital buildings and present interview data with experts by experience, activists and practitioners on the benefits and potential drawbacks of this approach.


  • Michael Leahy Research Associate - National Institute for Health and Care Research
  • Professor Paula Reavey Professor of Psychology and Mental Health - MSc Mental Health & Clinical Psychology London South Bank University
14:30 - 15:00

Coproducing Cultural Change and Improvement at our Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit Using our 4Cs Philosophy and Visual Identity

Ty Llidiard: 15-bed Child/Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) regional admission hospital unit in Bridgend.

• 2019: went into level 4 enhanced monitoring (‘special measures’ highest level) over quality, safety, leadership and culture concerns.
• Undertook intensive 4Cs work programme to change the unit’s culture and physical environment to address concerns and improve staff and young people’s (YP) mental health and wellbeing.
• 2023: de-escalated to level 0 care group monitoring.


• Meaningful engagement with demoralised and demotivated staff, following intense scrutiny/investigation for 4 years, and Covid-19.
• Coproducing with YP aged 12-17 with wide range of behavioural/emotional/health needs.
• Very large, hexagon-shaped building with mostly white, cold-looking, segmented clinical spaces.
• Funding - no models/precedent for similar transformation programme in health board.

Ingredients for success

• Unit lead trusted by health board, able to define and communicate vision and commission specialist delivery team. Worked with Scarlet Design creating visual identity and 4Cs philosophy: Caring, Compassionate, Calm, Confident.
• Genuinely coproduced - engagement events, including on-site event with 65+ people, extensive consultation with past and present service-users, carers, staff and stakeholders, collecting 300+ survey responses.
• Unit lead understood the amount/type of physical environment change required to achieve aims.
• Building transformation plan created at start, delivered in stages to evidence impact, build trust and source funding.
• Visual identity that could extend across large unit.


4Cs identity, rainbow tree with birds logo and woodland scene applied across unit:
• Giant 4Cs scenes in connecting corridors, waiting spaces, meeting rooms
• External/internal entrances redesigned, providing welcoming environment, improving ‘first impressions’.
• Staffroom and outdoor spaces redesigned
• Ward office relocated to building centre creating a central square, improving interaction and observation for staff and YP - graffiti wall requested by YP.
• on YP door name-plates, office/lift doors, staff uniforms/lockers.

Staff feel valued, with improved retention and sickness reduction; YP feeling listened to and empowered, with improved outcomes.


  • Lloyd Griffiths Head of Nursing - Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
15:00 - 16:00

Best Practice in Co-production And The Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit

Best practice in co-production and the Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit: what does good coproduction look like in the design process? A workshop discussion facilitated by Design in Mental Health’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel.



15:00 - 15:30

Engaging the Vision for the New Warneford Park, Oxford

- Outlining the vision to create an outstanding environment for healthcare, research, innovation, and education, achieved with true co production.

The presentation will focus on how we have started a complex journey in realising a shared vision and ambitious plans driven by a unique collaboration between an NHS Foundation Trust, the oldest university in the English speaking work, and a philanthropist.
To create a mental health hospital, offering the best therapies, care, and a therapeutic environment that provides the best opportunity for recovery, co-located with global brain health research facilities and a new post-graduate college that educates future generations of clinicians and researchers.
Demonstrate how we have worked with a number of interested parties across the partnership and how we have sought to engage and achieve true co production.
Sought to achieve leading design and innovation within the built environment of a site that will not only meld Healthcare, research and education but also span 200 years of architecture.
How we have endeavoured to do that sympathetically while also learning important lessons from the past and enhancing the knowledge base for the future. An environment that is ambitious in its aim to vastly improve patient and staff experience and one that will truly promote mental health and wellbeing.
How we are using clinically driven design based on the input from our staff and experts by experience in our plan to develop a new hospital that, if approved, will deliver world-leading care for patients in Oxfordshire and beyond.


15:00 - 15:30

Making Retrofit Work: Low Carbon, People Centred Design for the Anna Freud Centre Campus

The presentation will start with an introduction to the work of the Anna Freud Centre; straddling clinical services, short stay school, post graduate study and charity workspace focussed on children’s mental health issues. From this we will explore the design process and completed building (winner of a 2021 Design in Mental Health Award) to create a new shared campus for these diverse activities and the efforts undertaken with renowned Interior Designer Ilse Crawford to deinstitutionalize those interiors and make a place, or series of places, that truly feels like a home.

Retrofit: Carbon-in-Use
Having spent the subsequent period since completion of the scheme investigating the demands of low carbon retrofit across current healthcare, higher education and commercial projects, I will revisit lessons learnt from the reuse of the Edwardian Chocolate Factory and what we might do differently now in the era of more widely adopted Enerphit and LETI Standards.

Timber Structures: Embodied Carbon
Focussing on the new-build element of the scheme’s innovative composite engineered timber and slimline precast concrete structural system and having moved into a time of widespread embodied carbon measurement, I will discuss what advantages are inherent in maximising the use of organic materials in construction, particularly within the constraints of the new Building Safety Act.

Where Next: Whole Life Carbon
Bringing together the above into a Whole Life Carbon narrative; Where next for minimising detrimental carbon impact of the planet’s atmosphere? And how might that influence design for mental healthcare?

This is an initial precis subject to development and I would welcome any suggestions how better to integrate with, or complement, your themes and/or programme.


15:00 - 15:30

The Art of Wellbeing: Mental Health Recovery by Design

This presentation will explore a joint project undertaken by the University of Lincoln and NHS Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT). In 2020 LPFT secured substantial funding to undertake the eradication of dormitory accommodation by designing and building an extension to the Peter Hodgkinson Acute Mental Health Centre at Lincoln County Hospital. As part of this project University of Lincoln colleagues Dr Steve Fossey (Associate Professor in Fine Art) and Rachel Baynton (Associate Professor and Creative Producer) were asked to design and lead a series of workshops with students, patients, and experts by experience to co-design two large artworks drawing on principles of mindfulness and grounding. These artworks were completed in 2023 and now support a therapeutic healing environment at the centre.

Leading on from the creation and installation of the artworks, Fossey and Baynton developed an innovative 3D digital model of the new facilities and the artworks in situ to enable a greater understanding of how acute mental health facilities are designed and used, and how art enables recovery. Using visualisation software, the new building is now accessible as a virtual space that is creating opportunities for enhanced staff training. The workshops that led to the production of the artworks and the 3D visualisation that provides greater accessibility for both staff and the public are part of what Fossey and Baynton see as a novel approach to wellbeing design. The term 'design' is used to embody a multicomponent, multimodal approach to improving wellbeing which imbricates community engagement, patient-student workshop collaboration, installation of art in hospitals, and the utilising of interactive technologies in mental health facilities. The latest phase of the project has seen Fossey and Baynton working with occupational therapists to design a creative toolkit for use on the wards. For the Design in Mental Health Conference Fossey and Baynton will present the 3D digital model, using it as a platform to communicate this multicomponent approach to mental health recovery by design.


15:30 - 16:00