Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms has been commissioned to provide two highly-advanced wetrooms for mental health inpatients and staff at The Welland Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Kettering.
St Mary’s Hospital is a multi-functional Northamptonshire NHS site which has services for both inpatients and outpatients. These include The Welland Centre, which is a purpose-built mental health inpatient facility for adults.
It has four wards focused on treatment, recovery and psychiatric intensive care, along with a 136-bed safety suite.
This suite required two new, highly-specialist wetrooms which would ensure patients and carers remained safe during bathing cycles.
GFM, the facilities management company responsible for maintenance at the unit, appointed Gainsborough to deliver the project.
Zoe Sparrow, GFM building service manager, said: ‘The NHS trust asked us to upgrade our bathrooms to specialist wetrooms for enhanced care.
“These had to be clinical centric with advanced features to support nurses and our highly-vulnerable patients.
“It was critical that all fixtures and fittings were anti-ligature so there was no risk of self harm by bathers.
“And there was a need for infection control and accessibility.”
Five specialist installers were tasked with the project and, despite challenges, were able to complete the first wetroom in four weeks, and the second in three weeks.
Ian Trotter, head of Gainsborough’s G360 Bathrooms, said: “Our team is well versed with operating in live care environments, however this particular project was challenging.
“Nevertheless, we were able to comply with all safety and security protocols and ensure disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.”
The overall design of the wetrooms is ultra-minimalistic to increase safe and hygiene.
And infection control is supported by contactless specialist sanitaryware operated by light sensors.
Showers encompassed detachable ‘bayonet-style’ hoses so carers could connect only when required – ensuring the anti-ligature environment is not compromised.
Sparrow said: “The newly-installed showers with detachable hoses are excellent for washing wheelchair and vulnerable patients without having to be removed from a chair or commode.
“Sensor operation of equipment eliminates touchpoints for better hygiene; and grab handles for assistance in mobility have been considerately positioned.
“The two new specialist wetrooms now mean patients can maintain their dignity while benefiting from a certain degree of independence.
“In terms of our bathing facilities, our site can now accept more patients with complex needs, in complete confidence, which is an outstanding outcome.”