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Moving and handling- top tips to alternative strategies for better outcomes

16/11/2020
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By Peter Wingrave, Director @AATGB

The Government, through its All Our Health scheme(1) is now actively encouraging a proactive approach to prevent illness and protect health, to improve health outcomes and reduce the drain on available resources.

To quote Mark Twain, “the secret to getting ahead is to get started”. The solution begins with the acknowledgement of the scale and complexity of the problem. Then we need to look at alternative scenarios, that deliver best value, best use of resources and the best outcomes for all involved. 

Moving and handling is one of the most complex areas of social care. It is also one of the most costly, in staff time, and if it goes wrong:

  • Fractures and falls are the third largest area of NHS spend, and cost social care £1.1bpa(2)
  • Pressure damage costs the NHS £3.8/day!(3)
  • Moving and handling injuries to staff account for 40% of work-related sickness absence(4)

Are there better, safer ways of undertaking some moving and handling procedures? Technology is constantly changing, and there is a raft of options that offer a better life for all involved.

Moving between levels

We rely on lifts- be it commercial passenger, through-floor, or stair. Many transfers between levels in social care environments involve moving people who have mobility issues. They struggle to walk unaided, to transfer. Then what happens if there’s a power cut, a mechanical problem, or even worse, a fire?

A powered stairclimber (https://www.aatgb.com/mobility-stairclimbers/) provides a safer solution.

It brings reduced number of transfers.

It takes up less space.

It impacts less on everyone else using the building, the stairs.

It can reduce the number of care staff required, especially if moving someone morbidly obese.

It is mobile! Therefore one can be used on numerous flights of steps and stairs.

Sit to stand

The benefits and concept of riser recliner chairs are accepted and understood. BUT, the person who needs that functionality has to be in those specific chairs.

An alternative, where appropriate, would be a portable inflatable seat. Pop it onto the chair, wheelchair, wherever within the care establishment or out and about, push the button, and the cushion inflates to raise and deflates to lower the person up from or into the chair.

It provides a controlled solution, thus reducing the risk of sudden movement, overbalancing and potentially falling.

Lifting from falls

Safely lifting someone in your care who has fallen is beset with Health & Safety considerations, for the fallen and your staff. More often than not, it means you need to allocate at least two- or maybe even more- people to the task, pulling them away from other duties.

A powered mobile lifting device (https://www.aatgb.com/raizer-lifting-chair/) addresses all those issues, enabling one carer (even the most petite adult) to quickly and safely raise the prone person to a sitting position with optimum stability.

The concept is becoming increasingly utilised across the UK in healthcare scenarios, including within the manual handling facility at one of the UK’s state of the art NHS innovation centres.

Resting comfortably

Pressure sores cost the healthcare service £3.8m/day. That does not take into account the staff costs, turning and repositioning patients and residents every couple of hours, to avoid those areas of pressure increasing to a stage where the tissue is damaged.

Why not avoid that situation in the first place? Using alternative equipment rather than labour actually amortises the capital cost compared to time spent adjusting someone, re-plumping cushions and supports around them. That’s before the cost of pressure damage treatment is factored in.

Vaccuum posture cushions (https://www.aatgb.com/posture-cushions/) evenly distribute support without pressure points.

They are infinitely re-formable.

They hold their shape once formed for weeks or even months without adjustment.

It is up to us all to embrace change: try it, you might like it! Reach out to us to organise your free assessment and trial- sales@aatgb.com or telephone 01978 821875.

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