Fire Doors at a South Eastern Mental Health Hospital

South Eastern Mental Health Hospital

Adaston was commissioned to carry out a full survey and replacement or remedial work of all fire doors and fire stopping at a South Eastern Mental Health Hospital. The facility, which cares for adults of all ages, appointed Adaston specifically for all required fire door works. This includes upgrading the type of doors installed as part of a Trust Patient Safety Improvement Programme. The aim is to ensure all patients receive the highest quality healthcare experience.

As the hospital is not a new building, Adaston’s challenge was in bringing the fire stopping measures up to date. Further to this, as a live hospital with patients on the premises throughout the installation process, there were sector-specific challenges to work with. These include enhanced safety measures, specialist knowledge and expertise, and a vital focus on clear planning and programming.

Read on to find out how Adaston expertly provided the solutions to deliver a successful project.

Key Points of Interests

  • Key Point Icon Adaston has extensive experience working within the specialist healthcare sector and fully understands how to manage the unique challenges such settings bring. Our recent work at Newham Centre for Mental Health involved similar works.
  • Key Point Icon Due to the scale of the project, it involved working alongside other contractors and spanned several months. To ensure careful coordination, Adaston had a Project Management Team in place to liaise with all stakeholders throughout. This included weekly reporting on defined KPIs for complete transparency on progress.
  • Key Point Icon Due to the nature of the setting, there were hospital chaperones onsite to escort our teams through the building. Where this was not possible, our trusted personnel underwent specialist key training so they could access the ward to complete the necessary works.
  • Key Point Icon Top-of-the-range Kingsway Doors installed in the project required strict storage controls to ensure they did not warp prior to fitting. Adaston arranged for the doors to be stored in a specialist facility that met the correct temperature and humidity levels.
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The Importance of Improving Fire Safety

As with our work at Newham, the aim of Adaston’s work at the hospital was to:

  • Install and maintain robust fire safety systems
  • Improve service user safety and wellbeing
  • Ensure compliance with all necessary regulations

Anti-Ligature Doors

Our main role within the project was to survey and install anti-ligature fire doors. This included the installation of specialist Kingsway Doors, with top-of-the-range anti-ligature, anti-barricade, and fire-safe features. This type of door is the most versatile ligature alarmed door solution available for mental health facilities, designed to help staff prevent service user suicide and self-harm. The doors are specifically designed with the following features:

  • Detects ligatures at all exposed door edges
  • Adjustable alarm trigger between 0-7 seconds
  • Hardwired to avoid interference
  • Anti-barricade specifications available

Due to this, installation requires a specialist fitter like Adaston to ensure that installation is smooth and efficient. All in-patient bedrooms and living areas were upgraded and, alongside these, existing timber door sets underwent full remedial works to ensure all doors perform as tested.

Fire Stopping

Fire stopping is an essential part of passive fire protection, designed to save lives and safeguard the property. As well as fire door installation, our comprehensive survey extended to a thorough review of existing passive fire protection measures and undertaking required remedials, ensuring that the entire building meets the modern regulations. Adaston undertook the full survey of each and every compartment line within the hospital, reporting where necessary on non-compliant elements of fire stopping. Where actions were required, our team of experts presented the trust with a clear and robust programme, from which communication and logistics planning could take place.

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Unique Challenges and Solutions

During these ongoing works, there were of course sector-specific challenges to work with. Fortunately, Adaston has extensive experience of working within various industries, including the healthcare sector. The following are some examples of the unique challenges and solutions that feature in a complex project of this type:

  1. As they are highly specialist and sought after, the lead time on Kingsway fire doors can be many months. Any delays would impact the project significantly and therefore excellent foresight, planning and communication skills were required to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible.
  2. Due to the nature of the setting, maintaining patient safety during the ongoing works at all times was a key focus. The team needed to be highly security conscious so extra measures were implemented. The team were assisted by hospital chaperones whilst onsite to minimise any risk. Plus, they created a tool register to count tools in and out everyday. This was completed with absolute precision when operatives entered and left the site, thus maintaining the highest level of safety. 
  3. Experience and knowledge of how to work alongside other contractors was essential. In this project, we worked cooperatively with alarm teams, active fire protection installers, and floor levelling teams. This was in part down to our reliable project management team, and partly due to the extensive experience of our installation team.

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