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For secure mental health units, the safeguarding of both their patients and the general public is paramount. Therefore, it is imperative that patients cannot leave the hospital grounds to ensure that they cannot threaten anyone or themselves. Therefore, secure, sturdy and reliable fencing is a necessity. However, to promote relaxation and recovery for anxious and agitated patients, it is necessary to maximise the capability of this fencing to ensure that it is restful rather than solely restrictive.

So, how is it possible to ensure that high-security fencing can also be calming to patients?

Secure Mental Health Units

Secure mental health units in the UK require a high level of security because they often house people who have been previously incarcerated or those who have been admitted to the hospital after committing a crime. In addition, they deliver care to patients who may pose a risk to the general public and try to help their patients recover by offering accommodation, treatment and support.

Patients in secure hospitals are not allowed to leave and cannot escape if they pose a danger to themselves or others. Therefore, the security is always extremely stringent inside and outside each unit.

What are the Requirments of Secure Units?

Security and safety of patients is a priority for NHS mental health units. A mental health unit is not a prison; it is a hospital where patients are cared for and nursed back to recovery with treatment and support. Patients mustn’t feel like they have been locked up, and the environment needs to be calming so that patients can enjoy the restful environment conducive to their recovery.

However, it is also essential that patients not come and go because the unit delivers high-level security on a secure mental health unit. Therefore, any perimeter fencing must be extremely secure to keep the patients from leaving the hospital, and patients must also not be able to break down or scale the fencing.

Therefore a duality must be created where a prison-like environment exists without the hospital being perceived as a prison by the patients on the unit.

The Solution

Zaun HiSec Prison fencing is used as a solution to all the requirements of secure mental health units. Every panel of the HiSec 358 close mesh fencing is specifically designed to ensure the safety and security of patients within the unit.

In addition to the 358 mesh, the fencing features 1.5mm solid steel sheets, pre-galvanised, powder coated and printed with an image. This provides privacy to the patients inside while maintaining a high-security level. These sheets are then fixed to the fencing with a clamp bar on the post and clamped with an additional clamp bar mid bar to maximise their durability and sturdiness. To achieve tailored and bespoke results, sheets are pre-cut to size before arriving on-site, ready for installation.

One of the most important facets of the fencing is the printed image on the front of the sheets. These images, often created by local artists, are created to calm the patients on the mental health unit, making them feel less anxious and improving their positivity. Therefore, they tend to depict calming imagery, such as lush flowers or relaxing scenery.

This printed fencing has the dual outcome of keeping patients safe and secure inside the secure mental health unit and giving them restful images to views, such as vibrant yellow sunflowers and the glint of sunlight through woodland. In addition, viewing nature scenes has the benefit of positively improving mental health.

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