Anti-Ligature and NHS

Reducing the risk of self-harm

Two areas have been identified as environments where persons are at greatest risk of self-harm: Mental health hospitals (including psychiatric wards in general hospitals); and prisons and detention centres. In these areas the incidence of self-harm by ligature has been a serious cause for concern. The Magnetic suspension system provides a highly effective means of greatly reducing this risk. It`s load release brackets are discreet, hygienic and attractive, and the system is in use in psychiatric institutions and prisons throughout the UK.

Ease of use

The patented system is simple and extremely effective. It will securely hold a range of items by powerful short-range magnetic attraction. When an abnormal load is applied the magnetic force is overcome and releases its load. And it can do this time after time without any decline in performance, and as there is no mechanical or moving parts that can jam, break or wear out after an incident all that is required is for the suspended item to be held immediately below the magnetic bracket and the magnetic force will raise the item and click it into its correct position.

Loading Figures

No part of a magnetic installation should be able to withstand a vertically downward force of more than 400 newtons. Equivalent to a static load of approximately 40Kg. Most readings will be in the region of 15-30kg depending on the configuration and proximity to brackets.


Sensitive electronic equipment may be damaged by proximity to a magnetic field and should not come within 15cm of the underside of the brackets. WARNING; Articles suspended from a magnetics suspension system will come down when pulled! Any load-release device by its nature, may cause damage when operated.

Anti-Ligature Testing

Spruce design supply and fit all the major brands of Anti Ligature Rail systems which operate on the principles of :

  • Friction
  • Polymer distortion (or)
  • Magnetic coupling

To provide the desired release mechanism. Fitting these systems requires a great deal of skill if they are to function reliably. The manufacturers have designed the release mechanisms to operate effectively only when the mounting points are properly secured and spaced along the rail, and adequate care is taken to install the units in a manner that allows the rail to collapse and prevent the attempted harm.

Our experience in auditing such systems leads us to believe that, in some cases, the true nature of the risk is not understood and persons who were not familiar with the operating principles have installed the rails. In order to provide you with demonstrable proof of the efficiency of the installed anti-ligature systems we can provide a certificate and annual audit & test for all of your rails and Anti Ligature Equipment.

During the audit we carry out a visual inspection of the overall installation (from a single rail, or fitting to complete wards) highlighting any obvious faults and problems. Following this visual inspection we then continue to test the release characteristics of the systems to their release point. The force required to release is recorded along with any system faults identified during the process. See Ligature Issues.

  • Testing and auditing any new or existing Anti-Ligature product.
  • Clear detailed computer generated reports are produced for the client with full layout diagram, and rail numbering. All release weights, faults found and upgrade suggestions for each rail system are also included.
  • We offer full fitting and Maintenance service of All Anti-Ligature products.
  • For Surveys and prices please contact Mr. Spruce on the Quick contact link opposite, or call our office 9-5 PM Monday to Friday 0151-737-2525.

Rail Fitting Service

Spruce Design offers a full rail fitting service on any track or pole we sell, We only use our own fitters who are trained in- house to provide a courteous and efficient service.

As well as our domestic fitting service for straight or bay window rails, pelmet boards or poles, we routinely fit and repair rails in pubs, clubs, schools or stage and theateres, ( cable winch repairs, and re-cording of stage rope pulleys is a specialty of ours.). and we recently carried out an on site repair on a sports hall divide curtain 100 ft wide by 40 ft high.

No job is too big or too small, and by not refusing any jobs we have kept trading when others have failed. Spruce Design have built up a trusted clientele over the years and we are reknowned for our good old fashioned, straight talking, honest business ethics. As far as we are concerned, “The customer IS always right”.

Anti-Ligature Training

We have found that many ward and maintenance staff are unfamiliar with the systems installed, how they work or what they are designed to do. We strongly believe that your staff are your eyes and ears on the wards and should be trained to identify problem areas before they turn into hazards.

To this end Spruce Design Anti ligature services (SDALS), are offering an Antiligature awareness training course in which we give a short power point presentation with a discussion session to raise their awareness in this area, equipping them to recognize potential problems. The presentation would take approximately;1.5 hours and cover the following:

Spruce Designs

  • 1 An introduction into the whole issue of anti-ligature systems.
  • 2 The aim and purpose of the equipment and run through some of the key issues. How they operate, our test procedures, and a critical review of each system type.
  • 3 A more interactive session on the problems we have seen in real life. Examples of modified and poorly fitted systems being demonstrated to the clients.
  • 4 Finally, a question and answer session where we ask for help from the staff to try and improve the presentation for the future and learn about issues they face on their own wards.

At the end of this session we would provide a certificate of attendance to each person as proof of their having been through this training.

As you can now see, S.D.A.L.S. can provide a comprehensive service in the area of anti-ligature rail fittings, giving you the peace of mind that systems are correctly fitted and operating effectively. S.D.A.L.S. will continue to monitor this performance on an annual basis, and by training your staff, your own personnel will carry out informal, day-to-day checks. All this adds up to a safer environment for patient care with a clear, auditable methodology to ensure this safety continues.

Should you require our support, I would be pleased to be able to meet with you to discuss further the overall service required, the costs involved and the scope and timing of the work.

Spruce Designs

Stage winch, curtain track repair and re-cable/rope service

We can re-cable or repair all types of curtain winches and stage tracking, rope or cable re-cords are undertaken by our trained fitters who have 20 years’ experience in this field.

Many schools and cemeteries use these motors and winches to smoothly close and open the curtains many times a day. It is imperative that they work smoothly and without fault for each operation.

  • If you have a problem with your stage curtain tracks or associated fittings.
  • If you are having difficulty with a sticking track or an electric winch that is intermittent in its operation and you need a fast repair or service.
  • Contact our office 0151 737 2525

These are the most common type of winch that are used in schools clubs and theatres. We can usually repair or re-cord them in 1 visit to get you up and running on the same day.

Spruce Designs
Spruce Designs

Manual floor/wall mounted winch

The wall winch is available in two standard sizes 8mtr & 15mtr travel. The shaft mounted helical winding drum is fitted to a sturdy back plate which allows direct wall fixing or attachment to a floor stand. Both can be repaired and or re-cabled on site.




25A Park road



L34 3LW


07885 827232 Mobile

0151 737 2525 Office


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