The best way to safely lift a fallen patient or resident has triggered some tough debates in recent times but one thing everyone has agreed on is the importance of getting it right.
Safe lifting procedures protect both healthcare workers and the people they’re lifting whilst using the right lifting equipment can also ease the pressure of inappropriate callouts to the ambulance service.
It was those inappropriate call outs to ambulances that were the inspiration for us launching our #UpLiftingCare campaign earlier this year.
In the UK, 1,000 people fall in a care home every day. Of those, 45% are uninjured and won’t need transferring to a hospital. Yet in the vast majority of cases, a call will still be made to the ambulance service to help lift them.
To aid lifting fallen residents (and people in general) every NHS Ambulance Trust in the UK carries the Mangar ELK lifting cushion. The aim of the #UpliftingCare campaign has been to equip UK care homes with a Mangar ELK or Camel so that when a resident falls and is uninjured, rather than placing additional strain on the NHS (these unnecessary call outs cost them £50 million a year) and leaving the resident waiting on the floor for hours at a time for an ambulance to arrive, the care home staff can just lift them up themselves.
With all that in mind, we carried out a survey of our 6,400 followers on Twitter to find out what they were currently doing when a resident had fallen over and was uninjured compared to what they thought they should be doing…
We then followed up that question with:
As you can see, whilst 50% of people do currently call an ambulance, only 19% of people actually thought that was the right thing to do!
The good news is that whilst 27.5% of respondents are already using a Mangar Camel or ELK, 45% of people indicated that they would prefer to use one if they could.
Which leads us to the question as to why more care homes do still call ambulances for uninjured fallers rather than use single handed care lifting equipment themselves.
There isn’t one easy answer to that question, instead, there are a variety of reasons.
We hear that last argument, that it’s always best to call an ambulance, a lot and in those circumstances try to direct people to a fantastic guide that the West Midlands Ambulance Service use called ISTUMBLE which shows exactly when it’s safe to lift a fallen resident and exactly when an ambulance should be called.
The Mangar Camel and ELK inflatable lifting cushions and are designed to deliver a dignified and safe lift. They can lift up to 70 stone and are lightweight, portable and simple to use. They have a Riverseal® anti-microbial coating and are designed to exceptionally high standards with extraordinary durability, strength & performance.
“This equipment is an absolute godsend. We’ve used it 20 times at least, preventing 999 on every occasion. Residents are happier, families are much happier and the staff find it easy and safe to use.”
(Daniel Kelly, Manager at Chestnut House Care Home)
A local commissioning group, an acute hospital provider and the local ambulance service in North Manchester have been collaboratively been working together to launch The North Manchester Care Home Project.
The project’s aim is to reduce the number of inappropriate callouts to the ambulance service by minimising the number of calls made by care homes to lift uninjured fallen residents. The project has been providing local care homes with Mangar lifting cushions and full training with the aim to tackle the problem.
To request a free demonstration click here.