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Knightsbridge expertise secures contract at Carstairs

04 February 2013

Furniture designed and manufactured by Knightsbridge Furniture specifically for use in challenging environments has been installed throughout the State Hospital at Carstairs, the only dedicated forensic security psychiatric hospital covering Scotland and Northern Ireland.

‘The State Hospital strived to establish an environment that is as comfortable as possible without compromising safety and security,’ says Tom Hair, Head of Procurement with the State Hospitals Board for Scotland. ‘Finding the balance between looking good and being safe is always a difficult call but with help and support from the dedicated Knightsbridge mental health team we were able to select aesthetically appealing furniture which meets our rigorous security needs. The Knightsbridge team also worked closely with both us and their fabric supplier to develop specially-commissioned healthcare fabrics which were printed exclusively for this project.’

The State Hospital at Carstairs is one of four high-security hospitals in the UK - Broadmoor, Rampton and Ashworth being the other three - and treats some of Scotland’s most violent and dangerous psychiatric patients. Employing around 700 staff, the facility has 140 beds for male patients who require the maximum level of secure care, including 12 beds for patients with learning disabilities.

After an exhaustive competitive tender process, Knightsbridge Furniture was awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install fitted bedroom furniture throughout the hospital. Based on the company’s Lanark range, the bespoke wardrobes, beds, desks and bedside cabinets are manufactured from robust laminated board and incorporate anti-tamper and non-ligature features to provide maximum safety and minimal risk for patients and staff alike. All surfaces are maintenance-free, easy to clean and finished in contemporary shades.

To ensure the bedroom units are sufficiently robust and safe for use in a forensic secure environment, all products were tested to destruction by the hospital’s own security directorate. Design modifications made in response to client feedback included the absence of doors, hinges, rails and hangers and the concealment of all fixings: thorough retesting then took place to ensure the final products could be declared ‘fit for purpose’.

Knightsbridge Furniture was also contracted to supply seating and tables from its Challenging Behaviour Furniture Collection for the hospital’s lounge, dining and reception zones. Models from the upholstered Millie, Lynx, Clarence, Rossetti, Melrose and Shelley collections have been installed in lounge areas, with smart Ticino seating in the reception, Affinity upholstered modular seating in the family centre and Calm upright stacking chairs in the dining rooms.

All seating, tables and bedroom furniture supplied by Knightsbridge to the State Hospital at Carstairs were manufactured at the company’s plant in West Yorkshire. Knightsbridge Furniture holds ISO 14001:2004 for its environmental management system and BS EN ISO 9001:2008 quality management accreditation: the company is an Approved Supplier to the NHS and carries NHS Mental Health Contract Number 2012/S 38-061381.

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