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It has been calculated that some 1.3 million working days are lost to the NHS each year because of back pain, and many nurses choose to leave the profession as a result of it. Royal College of Nursing guidelines now state that employers should ensure that nurses and other care staff avoid lifting patients manually in all but exceptional circumstances. The law which regulates this area is The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, see Manual Handling in our legislation section for more information.
 
Health & Safety Regulations require careful Risk Assessment before any lifting or handling procedures are carried out. Training in correct manual handling techniques is very important, to ensure the safety and well-being of both the carer and the client. Prism Medical provides regular free training days giving an overview of their moving and handling range through a series of practical demonstrations and workshops.
 
Hoisting covers both ceiling track hoists and mobile, portable lifters, as well as the slings that accompany them. There are also stand aids, or standing hoists, and other a short distance patient transfer aids, for people who are able to weight bear sufficiently to participate in the transfer. Often lower cost and low tech alternatives to hoisting, small moving and handling aids such as slide sheets, swivel aids, leg lifters, etc are invaluable aids to transferring and repositioning people, or enabling them to do so themselves, if they have sufficient mobility. A new addition to the moving and handling area, emergency lifting includes equipment to lift someone who has fallen to the floor, and products to use in emergency evacuation procedures.
 
Hoists and manual handling aids for the heaviest clients are included in our dedicated bariatric area.
 
Smart Guide To Back Care is a book that takes you step-by-step through the causes of back pain; how to manage and minimise risks, including those associated with helping someone else who is unable to move independently; how to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles; what conventional and complementary therapies can do to help. Read our review here
 
The latest academic research suggests that employers are very often taking the precautionary principle to unnecessary extremes, and insisting that two people be involved in every transfer, even though they are using equipment that can safely be used by one person. You can read more here
 
These are the sections in the Patient Handling area:
 
Hoists – ceiling track, mobile wheeled hoists, portable and gantry hoists
 
Hoist slings including single use and custom-made slings
 
Hoist FAQs questions to ask before selecting a lifting aid
 
Standing transfer aids where somebody can weight bear sufficiently to participate in the transfer
 
Small manual handling aids slide sheets, turntables, transfer boards, etc
 
Emergency lifting and transfer evacuation in an emergency, and assistance following a fall
 

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