Care homes are unlike other workplaces as they are also a place of residence, they play an important role in supporting individuals who are unable to live independently, due to age, ill-health, or disability.
The equipment required in a care home will depend on the specific type(s) of care being provided and the needs of the residents. It is important that risks when using equipment in a care home are sensibly and proportionately managed in ways that respect the rights, freedoms, and dignity of those being cared for and their care workers.
Care homes should have the appropriate equipment to meet the needs of residents and to provide a comfortable and safe environment. Staff should be trained to use the equipment correctly, and regular maintenance and checks should be carried out to ensure it is in good working order.
In their Health & Safety in Care Homes guidance, HSE list the types of moving and handling equipment used in care homes across the UK:
The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance describes the main health and safety risks found in care homes, and what should be done to protect both workers and those receiving care. It is aimed at owners, providers, and managers, but has valuable information that can also help employees and help safety representatives carry out their roles and responsibilities.
There are several overlapping laws that apply to manual handling in healthcare generally and care homes specifically. Below is a handy list of UK legislation that govern the provision, use and maintenance of manual handling and lifting equipment for care homes.
Relevant Moving and handling legislation:
HSE note that an effective care home health and safety approach is likely follow the steps Plan, Do, Check and Act:
Plan = State what you want to happen. Write a health and safety policy, deciding who will help you with your duties, then consulting with care home staff.
Do = Ensuring systems are in place to provide the tools and equipment to do the job safely.
Check = Ensure work is being done safely with appropriate equipment.
Act = Learn from problems & successes, make improvements as you see fit. HSE advise that you should revisit plans to confirm if health and safety arrangements are still appropriate and are achieving what you wanted them to achieve.
vivid.care supply a range of healthcare equipment including specialist seating for managing complex conditions, moving & handling and rapid falls response equipment, to profiling beds and bathing equipment for low mobility and disabled users.
Contact our team to discuss our how our care home equipment is right for you today.
More information from HSE on the health and safety requirements for UK care homes can be found here.