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Equipment Used in Care Homes | List & Legislation

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.

What equipment is used in a care home?

In their Health & Safety in Care Homes guidance, HSE list the types of moving and handling equipment used in care homes across the UK:

  • Mobile hoists (standard and bariatric)
  • Bath hoists or lifts, or adjustable height baths
  • Slings of different types and sizes to meet residents’ needs.
  • Slide sheets and transfer boards or turntables
  • Electric profiling beds for dependent/immobile residents
  • Shower chairs and commodes
  • Suitable walking aids standing aids, wheelchairs
  • A selection of hoists raise fallen residents from the floor
  • Lifting chairs or inflatable non-injurious fall response equipment
  • Emergency evacuation equipment
  • Support rails/poles
  • Handling belts to assist weight-bearing residents (not for lifting)
  • Handrails etc for mobile residents needing minor assistance
HSE note that equipment should only be introduced following an assessment and should be used in conjunction with the care plan and the manufacturer’s instructions.

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.

What is the UK legislation governing care home equipment?
  1. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
  2. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
  3. Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

What Legislation Governs Moving and Handling in Care Homes?

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:

  1. Plan: say what needs to happen and say how you will achieve it.
  2. Do: Profile the risks you identify, organise your activities to deliver your plan, decide on the preventive measures, and ensure there are systems and equipment in place to do the job safely.
  3. Check: Monitor the work to see if it’s being done safely and investigate the causes of accidents, incidents or near misses. Check equipment regularly to maintain proper working order.
  4. Act: Review your performance and act on lessons learned, including from audit and inspection reports.

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.

  • This includes risk assessments to decide if you are doing enough to prevent harm to people.
  • Providing information and training to staff

Check = Ensure work is being done safely with appropriate equipment.

  • Checking how well risks are being controlled in practice.
  • Monitoring health and safety performance, actively (spot checks) and reactively (accident and near-miss investigations).
  • Servicing equipment as required to ensure it is safe for staff and residents.

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. 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.

Date Published

12 February 2023

Reading Time

3 minutes

Author avatar


Brian Chege

Brian is a university graduate with a particular interest in researching and writing about healthcare topics, including medical conditions, and current NHS issues and solutions. To ensure his articles are relevant and accurate, Brian uses UK government and private sector reports, and draws on a vast network of independent occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and healthcare professionals to both inform and verify his work.

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