9 June 2022 Seminars

09:15 - 09:45

Keynote – Room A: Mental Health In Design

Before you are a Keynote speaker. An architect. A designer. A product developer. A secretary. A parent. Sibling. Friend. Neighbour. Or any other label that you are given.

You are a human being.

I believe everybody has mental health.

We all have history. We all have memories. We all have experiences, likes, dislikes, fears, phobias, moments of joy, excitement. etc

If we don't look after and take care of ourselves, we can't look after anybody else or even do our jobs properly.

By getting to know ourselves and knowing what we need to do to take care of ourselves, we can be better prepared for what may happen & carry on with our lives.

My work is about people learning to discover what they need and what they don't need in their lives. I encourage people to understand that they are not on their own and lots of us have difficult times. What might be difficult for you? Maybe easy for me. What might be easy for you may be impossible for me. Once we learn about ourselves, we can explain about ourselves when we can explain about ourselves, we can help other people feel comfortable in talking about what's going on for them.

My motto is, “No one is better off or worse off than anybody else?“


  • Nick Smith Former Service User - Missing Peace Wellness and Support
09:50 - 10:10

Destination Net Zero: Transforming NHS Estates Into the Hospitals of Tomorrow

The Decarbonising Health Partnership (DHEP) is led by Wates with a multi-disciplinary team of built environment specialists including Arup and HKS Architects to develop a process that we can use to help NHS Trusts to develop their decarbonisation strategy for their estates, in particular their retained estates.

The team has developed a process which specifically focuses on delivering progressive decarbonisation through improvements in the built environment, such as building fabric and building services systems.

When a holistic approach between fabric and services is taken to ensure an optimum solution, and not isolated to component parts, it addresses the following key concerns:
• Improved patient experience and welfare
• Clinical outcomes that are future proof
• Enhanced staff wellbeing and productivity
• Better integration with wider health and social care infrastructure

The process embraces a range of smart decarbonisation solutions which our partnership of multidisciplinary built environment specialists use to work with individual NHS Trusts to develop a bespoke solution suitable and relevant to their requirements on their existing and new estates through a four-step process:
1. Brief
2. Optioneering
3. Validate
4. Solution


We are currently in the process of working with several NHS Trusts to put into practice our proposal.

The key challenges that we are facing in our implementation is the lack of data including utility (gas and electricity) billing, BMS recorded data, HVAC services drawing, As-built building services equipment, O&Ms, etc. We believe this challenge extends to mental health facilities.

For our proposal, we would like to host a workshop on how WE as an industry can fast track the collection of data to develop quick/mid/long term solutions to reduce energy use and target near zero carbon in NHS retained estates.

We believe it requires a collective effort to tackle this net zero challenge the NHS has targeted.


09:50 - 10:20

Inside the New York State Office of Mental Health Patient Safety Guideline


10:10 - 10:30

A Service User Approach to Zero Carbon

In 2020, The NHS declared its journey to net zero vision. This ambitious vision includes mile-stone targets for an 80% reduction in the carbon footprint by 2028-2032 and a 100% reduction in the carbon footprint by 2040 (net zero carbon performance). Achieving these targets demands that we collaborate, acting now, acting decisively, and acting correctly.

This is a great ambition, and it must be delivered whilst maintaining a service user first approach to care. Based on feedback from service users given in the 2021 Design in Mental Health Conference, the environmental conditions within rooms has a pronounced effect on their well-being, health and recovery.

It is therefore essential that any energy and carbon reduction measures are not introduced to the detriment of maintaining consistent environmental conditions.

This presentation will discuss this topic and present engineering analysis results of the affect to standard bedroom arrangements, covering the following:

  • energy consumption
  • carbon emissions
  • capital costs
  • operational costs
  • intelligent systems
  • asset management
  • MMC
  • Prefabrication
  • digitalisation

The aim will be to demonstrate how each arrangement and solution perform against compliant benchmark environmental conditions.

Learning objectives:

  1. Review of room environmental conditions that affect patient health
  2. Understanding of the building services requirements to achieve optimum room environments for service user health and recovery
  3. How to achieve zero carbon emissions in mental health buildings.



10:20 - 10:50

Self-Harm Reduction – Lessons on the Built Environment from NHS Scotland

This will be based on key learning and recommendations from the Report on Self Harm Reduction. Generated from multi –disciplinary experiences across NHS Scotland including NHS Capital Planning & Estates, Clinicians, and Health & Safety teams, this report provides a framework for improvements to data collection, design, operation and knowledge sharing of mental health built environment, to reduce self-harm and suicide attempts.


  • Susan Grant Principal Architect - NHSScotland Assure
  • View full profile for Andrew BaillieAndrew Baillie Chair of Self-Harm Reduction SLWG & Assistant Head of Capital Planning - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
10:50 - 11:30


10:50 - 11:30


11:00 - 11:30

Elgin and Appin Wards, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow – Case Study

Recently opened new build 2x 20 bed units for Adult Acute and Older Adults with functional mental health issues respectively.  Built on the 1904 Poor Law Hospital campus adjacent to Listed 120 year old and new award winning acute buildings alike, this case study provides many excellent learning opportunities, including: engagement process & collaborations; urban to detail design; sustainability and net zero design; to logistics of construction on a challenging site. There is also learning on the commonalities and differences for the design and operational services for these two distinct mental health groups.


  • David Ross Director - Keppie Design
  • View full profile for Andrew BaillieAndrew Baillie Chair of Self-Harm Reduction SLWG & Assistant Head of Capital Planning - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
11:30 - 12:00

A Revolutionary, 150-Year-Old Vision for Mental Health Care Inspires the Design of the Newest Mental Health Hospital in North America

Sheppard Pratt is one of the largest providers of the full continuum of mental health care services in North America with an international reputation. Founded in 1853, its philosophy of care was revolutionary for its time and still inspiring and relevant today:
• Courteous treatment for all patients
• Patients were to have privacy, sunlight, and fresh air
• A curative environment combining science and experience for the best outcomes

Original to the vision of "comprehensive care for all," Sheppard Pratt now provides medical education and training, research, public education, community outreach, outpatient programs, schooling and residential treatment with a focus on community-based healthcare.

In 2009 Sheppard Pratt purchased property outside of Washington, D.C. with the intent of replacing a leased facility that they operate nearby. In 2018 construction of the new campus which includes an 85-bed inpatient hospital, day hospital programs, a crisis treatment center and educational programs began.

The new hospital "Sheppard Pratt Baltimore / Washington" opened in August of 2021. The campus also has a mental health ambulatory care center planned for the park-like campus.

The new hospital is revolutionary in its design and holds true to the tenets that Sheppard Pratt was founded on. We will explore:
• Patient and family dignity
• Striking a balance between patient safety and healing environment
• Utilization of the "park like setting" in the healing process
• Natural light and views
• The importance of direct, outdoor access for all patients
• Future opportunities for research in mental health facility design


11:30 - 11:50

Sex, Love and Rock ‘n Roll Baby Boomers – Unusual Insights, Issues and Solutions

Between 1946-1964 the largest generation was created. The "Baby Boomers" radically changed society at every stage of their lives, as they will do so in their senior years, "from considerations regarding drugs, sex, rebellion and rock and roll to ending of life issues" and "will challenge long term facilities to in state new policies" James Sibeski. They have lived through post war food rationing to Deliveroo, from telegrams to the Internet, from Perry Como to Black Sabbath. From "The Year of Love" to the bombing of Hiroshima. From Charlie Chaplin to Monty Python... Mods, Rockers, Skins, Hippies, Punks, Goths and beyond.

The "Baby Boomers" will redefine old age. This longer living, "toughing things out", cohort will face significant challenges from failing body systems to mental health issues from depression, Diabetes, Arthritis, Cataract, incontinence to loneliness and from Dementia to substance abuse or misuse.

The Silver Tsunami is about to reach landfall hoping to see 2020 Design Vision for a very different future. Not one that is visually and mentally debilitating, containing Parker Knoll derivatives, fireplaces, over-sized clocks, rocking chairs, menageries of grabrails, flock wallpaper, nicotine colour ways all saturated in a Biome of "senior home" smells, unsuccessfully masked by Rose/Lavender scents.

What would inhabit this new world? Oxygen bars, Snoezelen Spaces, VR to fly a kite in Hawaii, "Zimmer" band gigs, grannies boxing to reduce Parkinson tremors, Dementia Pubs and Cafes, sheds to rebuild motorbikes, invention workshops, robotics, exotic pets, LED pillows, body driers, Tomek fittings, Toto WCs, Amazon, Google, Microsoft digitized support and virtual mental health consultations.

Let us deconstruct, reconstruct and reboot today's obsolete concepts into forward-looking paradigms focusing on invisibly and symbiotically supportive features that create environments that offer experiences that empower.


  • Richard Mazuch Director of Design Research and Innovation - IBI Group
11:50 - 12:20

Mental Health Inpatient Design and Build in Inherited Buildings

Review of 3 recent refurbishment projects:

- Beech Ward /Older Adults Mixed Functional Ward - 16 Bed Ward which was previously a Maternity Ward handed over to the Trust in 2012 and refurbished to current standard.
Design Focus was to improved Staff and Service User Welfare - present design development and what was achieved in final design - challenges - opening up spaces in Victorian Buildings, Asbestos, Drainage. Limited on what you can achieve. Ways to achieve what you want however through Interior Design.

- Graces Place/ Young Adults 16-24 LD/Autism Inpatient Service - 5 Bed Inpatient Facility previously a Children's Hospice handed over to the Trust in 2020 was newly refurbished end of life children's hospice environment. Design Focus was to create robust and safe environment while still creating and Autism Friendly Environment. Followed Design Principles provided by the Service Team and present how we achieved them. Challenges - this is a new service to the Trust - lack of standardised design guidance to how to achieve the right setting for safety while still providing autism friend design - i.e. ligature, barricade, security. - don't want it to feel like an inpatient ward, but still keeping it safe.

- Norbury Ward/ Female Mental Health Acute Inpatient Ward - 23 bed ward inherited from Acute Hospital Trust - present design wish list and how it was achieved in final design along with other design issues that arose during the design stage i.e. maintaining H&S of ward within new design/ wish list. Lack of space.

- Hope Ward/ Childrens 13-18 Mental health Inpatient Ward - 12 bed ward inherited from Acute Hospital Grid Corridor Ceiling - H&S Risk, cannot be refurbished to MF Ceiling while ward open. Further upgrades while ward was closed - challenges refurbishing in live environment.


12:20 - 12:40

Returning Home: Advancements in Veteran Mental Health

As part of the largest healthcare system in the US with the greatest number of mental health patients, the VA system has a substantial impact upon the mental health design landscape. Several new projects and design guides have been deployed that evolve these design drivers further. Starting with the VA's new Inpatient Mental Health Design guide, which covers both residential rehabilitation as well as new or renovated inpatient psychiatric facilities throughout the United States. Both the Inpatient and Outpatient design guide captures a number of trends, from supporting women's mental health with specific planning principles that address military sexual trauma victims such as specific design templates and unit types. As well, the advancement from semi-private to private patient rooms, addressing combat trauma, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD that are unique to this patient population. Not limited to inpatient facilities, such projects as the new VAMC Puget Sound Mental Health & Research facility, embodies these principles to serve formerly homeless veterans, those experiencing substance use disorders and other comorbidities while advancing mental health research. These trend influences both major hospital campuses such as the recent renovations of VAMC Bay Pines campus to smaller community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC) such as the VA Butler CBOC, among numerous others. These project case studies will highlight emerging design trends that evolve and elevate veteran mental health.


12:20 - 12:40

Sound Design – a Person Centred, Sensory Approach to Room Acoustics

The information we receive from our senses helps us interpret the world around us. Sometimes this messaging can be affected especially when people are hypersensitive to sensory stimuli.
Whilst our senses do not work in isolation, noise in particular can have an identifiable negative impact on our health and well-being. Recognised as a stressor, noise forms a key aspect of our body's danger and alert mechanism; triggering a physiological and behavioural reaction.
The human response to sound links to and is affected by many factors including personality, age, previous experiences, mental health, health conditions, medication and neurodiversity.
Our reaction is often negative and emotional, varying from mild annoyance, to anger, agitation and feelings of helplessness. This is often reinforced when we are unable to affect or control the source of the noise; so when we cannot mute it, or switch it off.

By learning more about the impacts of poor acoustic design of a space and linking this to the possible effect it will have on users, buildings can be constructed to avoid common acoustic challenges that frequently result in a negative response. From this base consideration can then be given to how sound can be positively used and managed to meet the needs of individuals.


12:30 - 13:00

Foss Park 2 Years On: The Impact of Improved Patient and Staff Environments


  • View full profile for Simon AdamsonSimon Adamson Director of Estates, Facilities & Capital - Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
12:30 - 13:30

Lunch Break

12:40 - 14:00

Lunch Break

13:00 - 13:30

Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Explore How the Social Spaces of Old and New Mental Health Hospital Environments Influence the Biopsychosocial Aspects of Mood


14:00 - 14:30

KEYNOTE – Room A: Rebuilding Recovery: Springfield Hospital x Hospital Rooms


14:35 - 14:55

Pivot and Succeed – The Story of how Book of Beasties Adapted to Champion Mental Health and Wellness in Lockdown and What Lies in the Future

This talk by Oisin Bishenden (CEO & Education Adviser) and Phil Tottman (Founder & Development Manager) will look at how, since winning our award in 2019, we weathered adapted to the new Mental Health challenges presented by COVID. Pivoting our approach to integrating Mental Health & Wellness across the curriculum in schools to match the hybrid school/home learning model. Specifically we will focus on the unique learning kits we successfully deployed which were downloaded over 10,000 times; helping teachers and parents with the vital issue of wellbeing in lockdown. Beyond this we will then present the recent charity work we have undertaken, the partnerships we have developed and how they have helped us grow what we do far beyond where we stood in 2019. Then, and by no means least, we will give a sneak peek into the wide range of products we are currently developing, the new ways we plan to leverage our core intervention and a quick insight into the principles that drive our pathway in supporting the next generation.


14:35 - 15:35

Seclusion: Do We Need It? What Should It Look Like?

Join the Design In Mental Health Network (DIMHN) for an open interactive round-table discussion and design workshop with advice and expert insight from a host of special guests including facility designers, managers, clinicians, experts by experience, product specialists and academics.

Each discussion will be carefully facilitated and ideas documented by DIMHN for future reference.

For specific practical design discussions join the ‘Designer In The House’ on the DIMHN stand after the session.

Pre-booking by conference delegates is needed for this session as there are limited places.


14:55 - 15:15

Transforming Ancient Stone Ruins into a Flagship Residential Home for Adults with Autism

As anybody who works within Health & Social Care can tell you, the level of regulation and restriction within the healthcare system can at times feel like a burden. Similarly, the level of regulatory oversight from planning and conservation officers when working with historic structures can also, sometimes, feel a little heavy handed.

We were well aware, therefore, that when our client approached us with the idea of transforming 800 year old, grade II listed, derelict stone barns into a flagship residential home for adults with conditions relating to autism, that the project would likely throw some challenges our way.

The West Aberthaw Barns project was truly one-of-a-kind, and posed some of the most interesting problems we have encountered. It was far from a vanity project though - our client did not choose these old stone ruins for the novelty or prestige.

Sometimes when talking about architecture we get trapped into thinking about buildings as stand-alone structures built in isolation, when, in reality, of the 5 senses that we could be thinking about when designing, all of them can be impacted for better or worse by a building’s location.

Set deep in the countryside, within view of the Welsh coast line, and bordered by the immense Aberthaw Power Station – this combination of quiet isolation, inspirational natural surroundings, intriguing large scale engineering, occasional salty tangs on the otherwise clean fresh air and robust and varied textures within the ancient stones of the buildings that made up the site itself all came together to create an environment that could not be achieved, through any amount of design, within the site by itself.

During this presentation we will explore how we overcame the challenges posed by these ancient structures, while making the most of the unique opportunities that they had to offer.


15:30 - 16:00

New Spenser Ward, St Peter’s Hospital Site, Chertsey


  • View full profile for Teme AlemTeme Alem Director of Capital Projects - Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust