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SW19 Pty Ltd were engaged by the Department of Health to assess the potential risk of self-harm as a result of the built assets. The project required SW19 to inspect the built assets, and report on the appropriateness of the physical building layout, and the fixtures and fittings utilised.

Limited standards were available regarding the retro-fitting of premises used as mental health facilities to minimise the risk of self-harm. As such, SW19 initially collated the standards available, along with other relevant information, such as recent studies into the methods used by in-patients to self-harm.

The initial site inspections assessed the layouts of the building in relation to current design guidance. This included clear widths of walkways, lines of sight, dead end corridors and secondary means of escape.

The more detailed site inspection was on a room by room basis, and assessed the fixtures and fittings used. This ranged from the design of the door furniture, use of handrails in toilet and bathroom areas, and the design of the furniture. The recommendations included within the report included for wholesale changes to the designs sites, on both a reactive and planned basis to gradually upgrade the facilities.

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