An essential part of caring for a vulnerable person in a care home or residential setting is ensuring they can be assisted and moved safely and with minimal risk. This helps to ensure their safety and health, and this can be either with or without equipment, such as hoists. However, effective and efficient Moving and Handling training is also essential so that the carer or nurse is adequately protected from injury or strain.
Failure to provide safe patient handling can result in problems such as back pain and musculoskeletal issues for the carer, and potential accidents and injuries relating to patients. Consequences such as these can then lead onto further issues such as additional costs (either through legal fees from compensation claims, or from needing to cover hurt staff), and being detrimental to the overall experience of the patient (such as extended stays for recovery and increased care requirements). Poor moving and handling skills can also result in a lack of dignity for the patient, which can have serious and lasting mental ramifications.
The reasons above outline why Moving and Handling training is extremely important, and why it is considered by the CQC as a statutory training requirement. So, how can you make sure your staff are up-to-date and compliant with this training?
What does safe Moving and Handling training consist of?
- Operating any lifting aids, such as bed hoists – you must ensure yourself and your staff are aware of how to safely operate and monitor this kind of equipment for patient and staff safety.
- Correctly using and caring for patient mobility aids – this can include wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and it is essential to be able to properly support your patients whilst they make use of this equipment and making sure they are properly cleaned and maintained.
- Compiling and consulting your patient assessment plan – this will include advice regarding the patient’s moving and handling requirements and any special considerations to take into account regarding their specific needs.
- Ensuring your environment is secure – the area where you are preparing to do any moving and handling of patients and equipment must be considered safe and free of obstacles, whether it be in a care home setting or at the patient’s private residence.
- Wearing suitable clothing and equipment – making sure you are not wearing anything inappropriate for the task (so no tassels or hooped earrings, for example) and wearing any required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a face mask or gloves.
What does the law say?
Whilst Moving and Handling training is a mandatory training requirement within the CQC when caring for vulnerable people, many aspects covered by this training are also vital for complying with many statutory working laws, such as the following:
- Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA)
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) (as amended 2002)
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
- Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
It is just as important to ensure your home and its staff are abiding by health and safety statutes and laws as well as the mandatory CQC training requirements. This will help assure the safety of both your staff and patients in all aspects of day-to-day care.