Hear from our Co-Founders

Philip Ross (CEO) and Martin Izod (CPO), about the journey they have been on since launching the business back in 2009.




Co-Founders and Art School friends Philip Ross and Martin Izod launch the business from Martin’s dad’s kitchen table, developing and working on the early foundations of Intellectual Property and patents for their innovative door solutions, building a test centre in Philip’s parent's garage.


  1. During the credit crunch, the pair soon raised £180K of Funding.

  2. The Integral Finger Guard (Alumax) was launched into the market to design out the problem of trapped fingers by using a rounded heel to eliminate the gap between the door and frame.

  3. Manchester City Council became our first customer!

  4. Primera created the first version of our Anti-Ligature Mechanical 5-way SOS Lockset, providing five override methods to ensure Mental Health clinicians can gain access to a room n the event of a door barricade.

Team Headcount: 2



Philip and Martin launched the Finger-Ejecting Guard (Alumini) for existing hinged doors. The surface-mounted finger-ejecting guard offers a maximum opening angle of 180° and has a patented finger-ejection system to keep wandering little fingers safe.

Team headcount: 3


In 2011, we asked, ‘are we nuts’?. You can check out some of our earliest marketing efforts in this video.

We always want to know if there’s a better way of doing things and want to solve the problems of tomorrow, and not just today - so we listen to our customers. They told us they wanted something versatile, 100% safe, cost-effective, durable and visually appealing. Enter the Alumni Finger-Ejecting Guard.

2011 also saw our Head Quarters move into Skypark, in Finniestone near Glasgow’s City Centre, where we built our first development workshop to speed up our product developments, a tiny 1mX2m cupboard - and how we have grown since then...



Having mostly operated in the Education sector to date, the Safehinge team identified an opportunity to support environments within Mental Health NHS facilities.

Founders Philip and Martin were visiting a friend in the hospital who had been sectioned when they spotted how unsuitable the door was in an environment for recovery.

They work to launch a door components package specifically for Mental Health, focusing on durability, hygiene and anti-ligature features along with aiding patient recovery.

This included:

Surehinge - an anti-barricade pivot system. The patented no-gap pivot system is anti-ligature, anti-barricade, and FD60 fire rated.

Sureclose - a concealed door closer. A concealed fire door closer that’s robust, secure and simple to fit anti-barricade doors.

Movastop - an anti-barricade wall-mounted door stop. The unique rapid-release mechanism allows staff to open doors outwards anytime within 15 seconds.


In 2013, the team also attended the first Design In Mental Health Exhibition to meet partners and customers. The Team are keen supporter’s of the exhibition, attending annually and often bagging awards for innovation and new product developments. Philip attended the AGM after this show and joined the board. This was driven by his personal passion and interest in improving Mental Health environments.




We moved into developing our first electronic product based on the Internet of Things (IoT) with our Electronic Lockset (Passport).

Passport locksets have a mechanical override system to overcome even the most determined barricade attempt, or in case of lockset damage - this can function as an emergency override system. It had all of the anti-barricade features of the 5-way lock but also included electronic access that supports the patient's independence.

In 2015, we also launched a new product innovation - enter the Swiftfit rapid-installation steel frame!

Team headcount: 8


In November 2016, Primera joined Safehinge, bringing together two market-leading companies with award-winning design and engineering teams – creating a company greater than the sum of its parts. The new combined team of 18 works together to drive innovation and raise the safety standards in the sectors in which we operate.

At this point, we supply anti-barricade locksets and handles to over 80% of NHS Trusts and numerous private providers, with our award-winning door sets for Mental Health used extensively across the UK.

As the team grew, we moved into our first real development workshop downstairs in Skypark (a whopping 6x8m)!

Our innovations in door sets continue to advance as we integrate SwiftStop into the Swiftfit Steel Frame.

Swiftstop is a collapsible anti-barricade doorstop which provides the fastest and safest anti-barricade access in Mental Health – affording access in under one second while safely positioning staff out of the door opening path. Swiftstop is available with either an electronic Passport access card, key fob access, or a mechanical Lifeline key.

Swiftstop was developed in response to a safety incident that occurred in Scotland, where a housekeeper's life was at risk due to the patient being able to prevent staff access by applying excess pressure on the door. This later led to a national safety alert.

Swiftstop is still the only anti-barricade system that works under pressure.

At the Design in Mental Health exhibition, we unveiled our latest Symphony door set for Mental Health, which received overwhelmingly positive responses. This door set features a robust Swiftfit metal doorframe with a silent switchable glass vision panel and integrates Primera’s Passport access system for one key access. 


Team headcount: 18


The team continues to grow! And ‘jazz hands’ within team photographs makes its debut!


Our Ensuite Door won Product Innovation of the Year at the Design in Mental Health Awards 2017 and is then “highly commended’ at the Building Better Healthcare Awards.

ensuite-8 (1)

Described by DIMHN judges as a “lifesaving” product, our en-suite door was recognised by the BBH judges as “responding directly to a real need”. They commented that they “liked the double-door entry, which would fit almost anywhere” and expect it to be “widely embraced”.



2018 is our most successful year to date! It’s been ten years since the birth of Safehinge and two years since adding Primera to the family - and we saw 40% growth in revenue. The team continues to grow, and we roll out a successful project with The Priory Group.

We launched the Electronic Lockset for the Mental Health sector.

This works to create a more familiar space facilitating recovery for patients. Electronic locking creates a more trusting and independent environment for patients, whilst the built-in mechanical override ensures reliable emergency staff access.

Also launched in 2018 is the world’s first and only Full-door Ligature Alarm. Selecting the safest doors is one thing you can do to make the biggest impact on patient safety within your Mental Health facility. Turning the entire door into a weighing scale, our anti-barricade door sets with wireless full-door alarms detect vertical loads of over 5kg.

This innovation includes full door detection and supports clinical observations with our team, providing a single supply and installation source - giving customers a single point of accountability.

In our quest for continuous customer improvement, we introduced a dedicated Configure Price Quote (CPQ), which is used to streamline the configuration of our door sets and access control, ensuring all elements on a door are coordinated in one place, and compatibility is ensured.

Team headcount: 30


We exhibited at the Design in Mental Health (DIMH) Exhibition and Conference with our biggest stand to date at 54m2, which meant we had the perfect stage to present our growing product range, project experience and team.

Adding to this excitement, CEO Philip Ross is invited as the opening keynote speaker for the event in May 2019 to talk about the BRE/DIMHN testing initiative to help NHS and specifiers make informed product choices 


We go Stateside! After several transatlantic trips throughout 2019 to understand more about how behavioural health care is provided in the USA, we established a significant demand for safer, non-institutional products designed with patients and clinical staff in mind.

We exhibited at the Healthcare Design Expo in New Orleans in November. We were struck by the excitement expressed by everyone who visited our stand, with one visitor describing our products as 'humanised safety' - with the award-winning bathroom door praised as 'one of a kind'.



The whole team collaborates on creating our Purpose:



We also land on our Core Values:

  • Powered by Purpose
  • Dedicated to Design
  • Team, Together
  • Empathy Over Egos
  • Commercial with a Conscience

2020 was a challenging year for everyone across the globe. Still, the team collaborated and demonstrated resilience through the Covid19 Pandemic and the new world of working from home. We also achieved the first sales of our ligature-resistant Ensuite Doors for behavioural health bathrooms in the United States.



Meanwhile, we moved into our new Glasgow Office at Speirs Wharf, closing the office three weeks later due to the national lockdown. We also grew our dedicated development workshop to twice the size - much more room for activities!



After such a challenging 2020, 2021 was a real year of triumphs in the business.

Our turnover increased by 37%, and we led the creation of an Executive Board, including the appointment of our first female statutory director, Vikki Macleod joined the board as our Non-Executive.


Sales of durable Door Finger Guards grow.

We delivered our first custodial project to the Scottish Prison Service, an idea in development since 2013 when they approached us to develop a door suitable for custodial environments that also incorporated our design expertise in ligature safety and non-institutional aesthetics.

We fit more than 100 Full-door Ligature Alarm Door Sets within just one NHS Trust facility.

Team Headcount: 45


2022 is another triumphant year as we grow our team by 100% to 75 employees and our turnover by 42%.

One of our biggest triumphs is our Door Alarms' impact on clinicians and patients, with Surrey NHS reporting a reduced response time of 60%.

We won the Concept Product Innovation of the Year award for our work on ‘older people’s door with full-door ligature alarm’ at the 2022 Design in Mental Health Awards. We used our full door alarm with standard door hardware, balancing other risks and needs like slips, trips and falls and the familiarity - critical for older users.

We are finally reunited, growing and able to have a summer party together!

SHP team

Doora, our product training and mobile display bus launches with a tour of the UK and Ireland. By installing our products in a mobile showroom, our customers can receive training on suicide prevention without leaving the workplace!

Doora allows us to demonstrate our innovative Mental Health door sets with some of the safest and recovery-led solutions on the market to enable the best environment for Mental Health patients.


We hire a full-time employee in the United States - we welcome Daniel as our Vice President for North America!

Daniels Introduction

Team headcount: 75

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Safehinge Primera. If you are interested in joining the team - please check out our Careers Page. If you are looking for our award-winning products, please do contact us today.

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