Since moving more than 15 years ago, Kevin’s remit has included policy development, risk management, accident investigation, training strategies and equipment guidance. A crucial part of the training strategy is to ensure all new staff joining undertake a manual handling course as part of their induction, with anyone who will be handling patients more required to attend an additional day of instruction.
During the second day of the course, staff are introduced to manual handling equipment including the Mangar Camel lifting cushion. The introduction of the Camel into the hospital’s manual handling equipment portfolio was triggered by a customer complaint 9 years ago.
“We received a complaint from a member of the public that an elderly relative had fallen in the hospital during visiting time. They had asked staff for help to get up and been lifted using a hoist.
This had caused the elderly visitor some distress. They felt a hoist was undignified and shouldn’t be used on ‘non-patients’.
I had come across the Mangar Camel before and recognised that for uninjured people who have fallen, an inflatable lifting cushion provides a comfortable, dignified lift while still protecting staff from injury.
I recommended the introduction of Camels into our hospitals. We now keep the lifting cushions stored centrally and easily accessible on medical wards.”
Kevin believes there is still a culture among healthcare professionals of wanting to help a fallen patient before considering the risk of damage to themselves. HSE report that moving and handling injuries account for 40% of work-related sickness absence in health and social care and Kevin and his colleagues are committed to building awareness about the impact of musculoskeletal injury.
The training team hold regular manual handling drop-in training sessions and refresher courses to enable staff to develop their skills. Kevin concludes,
“We want staff to have the confidence to take a moment to assess a situation fully before deciding on the right way to move someone. We have to make sure we are protecting the long term health of our staff as well as ensuring our patients are moved safely.”
For more information on Mangar patient lifting devices, click here.