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Safety without compromising on design for Hillingdon Hospitals

In need of a floor covering that had a homely, non-clinical feel combined with effective slip resistance, GBS Architects installed 590m2 of Forbo Flooring Systems’ Surestep Wood Decibel in a rehabilitation ward for older adults, as part of the Beaconsfield East Dementia Care Project.

Using a grant received from the Department of Health Capital Investment initiative, the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust refurbished the Beaconsfield East Ward, which won the Best Internal Environment Award at the Building Better Healthcare Awards 2014.

The 20 bed rehabilitation ward for older adults, many of whom have dementia, was organised into four by four bed bays and four single rooms, with additional reception, sensory areas and utility service areas – all of which had Forbo’s Surestep Wood Decibel installed.

Georgia Burt, Architect from GBS Architects, commented on the project: “We wanted to create a dementia-friendly and physical environment that would enhance the healing experience of patients and their carers. We therefore worked closely with the staff at Beaconsfield East Ward and patient families to achieve this. When it came to choosing a suitable floor covering, the selection was made by a number of design team members, therapists, cleaners and patients to really meet the individual’s requirements.

“During the initial design development stage we hosted a drop in event where we invited people, such as patients and carers, to view the design concepts and comment on the products that were chosen. Throughout the event, Forbo gave us a large piece of the Surestep Wood Decibel for the display, which helped our visitors experience the quality and look of the floor.

“Forbo’s Surestep Wood Decibel in Natural Oak was specified for its non-reflective and slip resistant properties – criteria needed in flooring for people with a visual impairment and a high risk of falling, but also for the natural warmth of a wood finish.”

Forbo’s Surestep Wood Decibel range has been specifically designed to provide R10 slip resistance underfoot while at the same time offering a 17dB impact sound reduction. Using aluminium oxide particles in the wear layer to provide sustainable slip resistance and maintain the clarity of design, Surestep Wood Decibel meets both the Health and safety Executive (HSE) and UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) requirements.

Christopher Knight, Capital Projects Officer at The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “Surestep’s Wood Decibel is comfortable without compromising on safety underfoot, which is great for a project such as Beaconsfield East Ward as some frail, elderly patients may fall unexpectedly. We also chose this product due to its acoustic properties to help reduce noise of footfall and equipment being manoeuvred over the surface area of the ward.”

What’s more, Forbo’s Surestep Wood Decibel can also be easily maintained due to its unique PUR PearlTM finish, which makes the floor covering easy to clean and its lasting performance guarantees that the aesthetics will stay in prime condition, even under heavy traffic conditions.

“With the installation of Forbo’s Surestep product we have managed to achieve a ward that does not convey a typical clinical aesthetic in a healthcare environment – which can sometimes have an upsetting effect on patients and patient families. The warmth of the timber design provides peace of mind to the patients’ carers and families that their relatives and friends are in a comfortable and pleasant environment,” continued Christopher.

Georgia concluded: “We’ve used Forbo on projects for over two decades now as they have an innovative product portfolio and reliable, knowledgeable representatives who are specialists in their field.”

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