When supporting someone at home you may require to assist them in their movements, this is referred to as moving and handling. It is often completed by carers, family and friends when an individual is less physically able. This may include support with:
- Entering and exiting the bed
- Rolling in bed
- Transferring on and off a chair or toiler
- Getting in and out of the bath
- Getting in and out of a car
What happens if moving and handling is not completed safely:
Incorrect techniques to moving and handling can result in injury to the carer or to the person being assisted. The most common injury to carers are back injuries due to repetitive heavy lifting or straining. To the individual being assisted injury can occur to fragile skin, cause bruising or skin tears, breathing difficulties or pain.
How to ensure safe moving and handling
If carers/support is struggling to assist an individual then a moving and handling assessment may have to be completed. Your local council will need to be contacted to provide support to assess the persons needs, the carers needs, as well as provide an occupational therapy assessment to complete a full moving and handling assessment.
A moving and handling assessment would involve a risk assessment of the individuals needs, an environmental review, the person’s ability, the person’s physique and what tasks need to be completed. This assessment will then highlight if the following is required;
- equipment to assist in manual handling. This may include transfer aids (LINK), bed assists (LINK) chair assists (LINK)
- number of persons required, for example an individual may need two carers during one visit to assist
- techniques required to complete moving and handling safely
- training for the carers/support to ensure they are competent using any equipment and are following correct manual handling guidelines.
- It is important that any equipment provided is assessed for by an occupational therapist to ensure the correct equipment is provided and appropriate training provided. This can either be via a private occupational therapist or social services occupational therapist
- There are a range of courses available reviewing manual handling, these may be provided by the local council or would need to be privately purchased
- For guidelines and legislation visit Health and Safety Executive