Hard-wearing door range providing lifecycle savings

In 2023, Hampshire-headquartered doorset design and manufacturing company, Specialist Door Solutions, launched a new fire-rated lead-lined door for hospital rooms undertaking X-ray and laser procedures, received continued business from NHS Trusts across the UK, and hosted a visit from Lord Markham CBE and senior members of the New Hospital Programme (NHP) team – during which the Minister said the programme was an opportunity for suppliers to form partnerships. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, recently visited SDS to learn more about its ‘unique approach’ to door design and manufacture.

During Lord Markham's visit in September, he discussed the opportunities available for suppliers within the New Hospital Programme, which promises over £20 bn for the construction of at least 40 new hospitals across England, providing substantial business opportunities for those involved. He also stressed the importance of a robust supply base for the success of the Programme, and encouraged specifiers to consider the lifecycle cost when deciding which items to buy, rather than just the upfront cost.

During my visit to SDS, I had the opportunity to meet the company's directors, Russell James, and Darren Blake. I discovered that the company's manufacturing and business ethos align closely with the themes of reliability, safety, and quality. Specialist Door Solutions has a 40-year track record of successful collaboration with architects, contractors, NHS Trusts, and private hospitals, which it says has made it 'the UK's leading designer and manufacturer of specialist doorsets for healthcare environments'. The company's primary focus is on designing and manufacturing for demanding healthcare environments, where doors can get a particularly hard time. SDS supplies its doorsets exclusively to the acute and primary healthcare sectors, which differentiates it from its competitors. The doors in high-traffic healthcare settings need to be hard-wearing and strong to withstand repeated impacts from hospital trolleys, other equipment, and hospital users, and still maintain their integrity. SDS prides itself on offering an extensive range of colours and finishes to provide attractive aesthetics, which its says contribute to the wellbeing of patients, staff, and visitors.

During his visit to the SDS factory, Lord Markham CBE was impressed by the company's innovative approach and commitment to quality. SDS says it is known both for the high quality of its doorsets, and its ability to customise them according to the requirements of the environment. However, the company is also aware of the Hospital 2.0 model's emphasis on standardisation to reduce costs and time in building new hospitals.

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