There are three key requirements for an effective system: firstly, it must, like the Vertex range of apparatus, be durable and long-lasting, providing value for money. Secondly, it must help the carer to move patients safely and ensure that the carer is protected from straining him or herself. Thirdly, and most importantly, the system must offer dignity to the patient and ensure that they can be moved in a safe, comfortable way.
These systems can be useful in all of the following sectors: assisted living, professional care, public and workspaces, and education. One of the main types of system is the overhead, or ceiling track, hoist, which allows for easy transportation of a patient into a different part of a room, or into a different room altogether. Adapted beds can enable patients to remain, or spend part of their time, at home. With proper training, family members can use the system to move the patient, for example, to lift the patient to change bedding, or to help the patient change position to avoid bed sores.
Solutions for efficient care
In hospitals, care or nursing homes, and in therapy sessions, either at hospitals or within the community, hoists allow carers and other nursing staff to comfortably and easily move patients. This has the benefit of improving hygiene, by allowing covers, sheets and chair surfaces to be cleaned, without discomforting the patient. It facilitates moving the patient to a different room, to take part in group therapy or take advantage of a change of location.
One of the key benefits of these devices is the freedom they can offer to patients, enabling them to experience life outside of their immediate care environment. As part of the Changing Places scheme, a national campaign to provide personal care facilities in public spaces for people with disabilities, patient handling systems can be installed in places such as libraries, museums and sports centres. This can significantly improve life for disabled people. In certain circumstances, hoists and hygiene trolleys can even be installed in workplaces.
Providing education for all
Children and young people with a disability may have special requirements to enable them to fully participate in school life. Whether at a school specifically catering for children with special needs or on a different school site, hoists, trolleys and transporting equipment can help teachers to provide a safe, hygienic environment for children with a disability, enabling them to experience activities such as swimming and soft play. It also allows children privacy and dignity when completing daily hygiene and other caring tasks.
The benefits of an effective patient handling system are widespread. These systems offer a safe way of moving and lifting patients for clinicians, teachers, therapists and carers, and, most importantly, provide the patient with a sense of security and dignity for both daily tasks and wider activities.