The most effective way to eliminate risk is to remove the hazard, nonetheless, we all know carers and hospital staff must move and handle patients as part of their daily work lives. Fortunately, there are new technologies that can greatly reduce these risks: To read more about the impacting forces on caregivers and how devices have a proven impact on eliminating these forces download the whitepaper.
Did you know…
- Should be completed under most manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Will pre-empt problems, reduce call-out costs, downtime and risk.
- Has been standard practice for Local Authorities and NHS trusts for many years and Care Homes are increasingly following suit.
Why do my profiling beds need to be serviced?
Profiling beds have many moving operational and electrical parts – such as bed rails, rising backrest and hi-lo functions. These moving components are subject to wear and tear, so regular servicing is essential to keep the beds fully functional, for the use of your service users.
What legislation affects bed servicing?
The main piece of legislation that is relevant to Bed Servicing is PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998). This states that:
“The frequency and nature of maintenance [of work equipment] should be determined through risk assessment, taking full account of:
- the manufacturer's recommendations
- the intensity of use
- operating environment (e.g. the effect of temperature, corrosion, weathering)
- user knowledge and experience
- the risk to health and safety from any foreseeable failure or malfunction”
Most manufacturers state that inspection of the majority of the mechanical components may only be carried out by expert personnel with suitable training, knowledge, and experience.
This means that as an employer you are potentially exposing yourself to unnecessary risk by not arranging Bed Servicing by a fully trained and qualified engineer.
How much of a disruption will Bed servicing create for staff and residents/patients?
Medaco’s engineers have spent their careers working in care environments and are comfortable accommodating the needs of both Carers and Residents as they go about their work.
As with any planned servicing or maintenance, disruption to resident’s comfort and the regular duties of staff can be minimized. Our Service Team will always plan any servicing carefully and do everything they can to accommodate the specific needs of your staff and colleagues as well as the needs of residents.
Does the bed need to be vacant in order to carry out the service?
Ideally the bed would be vacant, yes. However, if the bed is occupied, our engineers can still service the bed, but will be limited in the amount of functions and components they can test.
What is actually involved in a ‘bed service’?
The scope of the ‘bed service’ does vary depending on the type of beds that you have. However, the process for all beds includes checking the correct operation of all functional/moving parts, lubrication where necessary, notification of any defects (damaged or worn parts) and replacing
these parts if necessary.
Will servicing prevent breakdowns with my beds?
Yes, by being proactive and arranging regular PPM servicing, you can not only prevent costly
breakdowns, but create a safer, happier environment for your staff and residents.
Does bed servicing include a PAT test?
No, this isn’t included as standard, however, please feel free to ask us about this as it can be
arranged in some circumstances.
Does bed servicing include servicing of the mattress?
No, mattresses are not included. Static foam mattresses do not need servicing. Air Mattress
systems can be serviced as a separate item if required.
How much will bed servicing cost?
Bed service costs can vary depending on how many beds you have on site. Call us now on
033 33 22 33 44 to discuss your needs and get a quote for your Bed Servicing.
Slings, like hoists, come under the LOLER regulation 1998, which means they need to be visually inspected every 6 months by a competent person. However, a lot can change with slings within a 6-month period especially in a high usage environment, so what is really important is that before each and every sling transfer is made, the carer carrying out the transfer must visually inspect the sling before they use it.
Click on the video below to discover the five checks.
Bed rails are used extensively in care environments to prevent bed occupants falling out of bed and injuring themselves.
However, there have been serious incidents reported to MHRA. The majority of these involved third party bed rails used on domestic, divan and metal framed beds that have led to injury and death by asphyxiation after entrapment of the head or neck.
Most incidents occurred in community care environments, particularly in residential and nursing homes. These could have been prevented if adequate risk assessments and appropriate risk management had been carried out.
In general, manufacturers intend their bed rails to be used to prevent bed occupants from falling and sustaining injury. They are not designed or intended to limit the freedom of people by preventing them from intentionally leaving their beds; nor are they intended to restrain people whose condition disposes them to erratic, repetitive or violent movement.
The MHRA have a very helpful bulletin which identifies areas for safe practices, so that policies and procedures can be reviewed and put in place. This includes:
- risk management
- management responsibilities
- meeting legal requirements
- planned preventative maintenance.
It also identifies areas of good practice, such as:
- checking and ensuring that a bed rail is necessary
- the need for good communication between bed occupant and carers or staff
- compatibility of the bed rail and bed, mattress and occupant combination
- correct fitting and positioning of the bed rails initially and after each period of use
- re-assessing for changing needs of the bed occupant.
- the need for risk assessment before the provision and use of bed grab handles.
This bulletin is not intended to inform clinical decision making.
Download the MRHA Bulletin here
We would always suggest that the best time to replace a sling is as soon as you first notice any signs of wear & tear, or damage. The main reason for this is for patient safety - it is simply not worth the risk!
What do I need to look out for that will mean I need to replace a sling?
- Any sign fabric or tape fraying
- Faded labels*
- Loose/broken/worn stitching
- When ‘non-manufacturer’ stitching is present (when somebody other than the manufacture has repaired the sling)
- Faded/discolouring/staining of material
- Broken Clips, buckles
- Velcro that is starting to lose its strength
- Quilting/Padding that is defected in anyway
- Any rips, snags, cuts, holes/punctures or any damage to material – eg Cigarette burns
*This is an important point – if the label is faded and unreadable, there is no way of telling what the specific sling instruction and details are such as the safe working load and washing instructions. Some companies that perform LOLER inspections will fit a tag to the sling to replace the details from the worn label; however it is important to note that the majority of sling manufacturers advise replacing the sling when the label is worn. Therefore should an incident occur the manufacturer would not be held responsible, and there is a likelihood that it would fall on the owner of the sling.
Slings, like hoists come under the LOLER regulation 1998, which means they need to be visually inspected every 6 months by a competent person. However, a lot can change with slings within a 6-month period especially in a high usage environment, so what is really important is that before each and every sling transfer is made, the carer carrying out the transfer must visually inspect the sling before they use it. If any of the above defects are found, the sling must be taken out of service immediately.
If you are ever unsure whether a sling needs replacing or not – you can ask yourself the following question ‘Would I be happy and comfortable to use this sling to lift a close family member?’
If the answer is no – it is time to replace the sling.
Just remember, whilst there is a cost to replace a sling, this cost is nothing compared to the potential cost of an accident or fatality, and the huge repercussions that this can bring.
It’s a risk not worth taking!
When it comes to hoisting patients, there is a lot of information out on the web which determines both what you should and shouldn't do. Ultimately in the event of something going wrong, it's the HSE that will carry out a thorough investigation and determine who was responsible. But what documents should you be reading?
Here are some of the HSE documents that we would recommend you read:
If you have a piece of equipment that has broken down and is out-of-warranty, you may be wondering if it’s worth fixing or if a replacement is a better option, and like most of us, your tendency might be to keep repairing it for much longer than you should. This can actually end up costing you a lot of time and money in the long run. But how do you determine if you should repair or replace something?
The No.1 'Rule of Thumb'
Based on industry standards, the decision to replace or repair an item of equipment is based on the cost of the repair, compared to the cost of replacement, considered along with the age of the equipment itself. Generally if the cost of the repair is 50% or lessof the cost for replacement, and the equipment life-cycle expiration is 50% or lower of its expected life-cycle, the equipment will be repaired.
12 Top Considerations
However, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration and the decision has to be made on a case-by-case basis including, but not limited to:
- The equipment's service history
- Performance and reliability
- Overall condition
- Functional importance
- Any critical risk the equipment may cause if out-of-use, repaired, or replaced
- Likely ongoing operating costs
- Impact on productivity and/or quality
- Cost of unscheduled downtime, including collateral costs (health, safety, environmental, etc.)
- Decommissioning or/and disposal cost
- Associated cost to research and purchase a replacement
- The capital cost of the replacement equipment, including the cost of money
- Any training costs on replacement equipment
The decision to repair or replace is not always straightforward. However, by working alongside a qualified expert, it is possible to make an informed decision.
Remember, the best decision on whether to repair or replace can only be reached by evaluating the equipment in the broadest possible terms. By taking a long term view, not only of the cost and life-cycle of the equipment, but the additional top 12 considerations listed above, you are well placed to make a good decision in terms of cost, performance and sustainability.