04 August 2017

Our Approach to Moving & Handling is Changing

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Newcross Healthcare’s Clinical Governance Team is changing its approach to Moving and Handling task and have reviewed both our Establishment and Complex Care moving and handling policy and guidance.

We recognise that a duty of care exists to both service users and members of staff alike, and the changes move away from the previous policy of ‘no lifting’ across the board.

The new policies reflect greater onus on risk assessment and now include guidance on very specific circumstances and requirements where moving and handling might need to be undertaken.

You can read the new policy here and the policy for Homecare and Complex Care here

Tips on Moving & Handling Safely

There are some basic efficient moving principles that everyone should consider prior to carrying out a manual handling operation:

Prepare – Know what the task involves. Always think of who, what, when, where, why.

Dynamic stable base - With your feet set a reasonable distance apart you gain a stable base. When the feet are also positioned in the direction of movement, you are ready to ‘move on’ thus; Dynamic. 

Soft knees and hips - Bending our knees prepares our body for movement and allows our centre of gravity to remain within our base. 

Spine in line – The spine in an S shaped means Safe, Strong, Secure & Stable. Weight is evenly distributed through the discs.  

Breathing - We need oxygen to survive, our muscles need oxygen too. A good breath prior to the move creates a girdle effect on the abdominal muscles, therefore, supporting the spine. 

Load close & not too high - Keeping the load or the patient close to you brings their centre of gravity closer to yours reducing the amount of pressure applied to the discs. Keeping the load low stops you from using your arms and shoulders to ‘lift’. 

Head leading - Lifting the head brings the spine into its natural ‘S’ shape and helps to open up the airways allowing natural breathing. With the head facing the direction of movement, we can, of course, see where we are going; our body will naturally follow our head

Avoid twisting the body as much as possible by turning your feet to position yourself with the load.

Training in Moving & Handling is available to all healthcare staff. If you are at all interested in doing any of our courses, please contact your branch to book into a course.