How often should moving and handling training be carried out?

moving and handling

Frequently refreshing moving and handling training can help to prevent unnecessary accidents and injury in both patients and the health and social care workforce.

Working in health and social care is a very hands-on job. Health and social care staff who work face to face with patients are regularly required to help move or reposition people who are very unwell or have problems with mobility.

Without proper training, attempting to lift or move a person, particularly someone who is already unwell, injured, or frail, could easily cause further injury. Therefore, all health and social care staff working on the front line must have professional moving and handling training to help teach them methods to lift, move, turn, or otherwise handle patients professionally and safely.

In this article, we will find out a little more about moving and handling training and how often it should be carried out.

What does moving and handling training involve?

Professional moving and handling training teaches health and social care staff everything they need to know to safely move and handle patients without accident or injury.

Comprehensive moving and handling training covers both theoretical background and practical skills to give individuals a greater understanding of both the best ways to move people and why it is so important to do it in the way described.

Some key areas covered in professional moving and handling training include:

  • Manual handling regulations.
  • The anatomy of the spine.
  • Risks and hazards involved in moving and handling people.
  • Manual handling equipment and techniques.
  • Manual handling moves to avoid.

Why is moving and handling training so important?

Ensuring that the health and social care workforce have received adequate moving and handling training is not only a legal requirement but also vital to the health and wellbeing of both the health and social care staff themselves and the patients in their care.

Patient health

Patients that are being cared for by health and social care staff are often ill, injured, or frail. Healthcare staff helping patients with mobility must be aware of the risks involved and be able to identify the safest manual handling equipment or techniques to use.

Moving and handling training will teach the safest ways to handle patients to minimise the risk of accidents happening and improve patient comfort.

Incorrect or inappropriate manual handling moves could result in serious injury to the patient, which could extend the time it takes for them to heal or recover and cause psychological distress.

Health and social care staff health

As well as causing injury to patients, incorrect manual handling can also cause injury or health issues in health and social care workers. According to information from NHS Dorset Healthcare, in health and social care, moving and handling injuries account for 40% of work-related sickness absences.

Repeatedly performing lifting and handling tasks incorrectly can cause serious injury, put a strain on the spine, and cause muscle aches and pains. All of which can lead to further health problems and negatively affect employee mental health.

Providing thorough moving and handling training can help to increase the health and wellbeing of the health and social care workforce and reduce the number of employees requiring time off work due to injuries or health problems that could have been avoided.

Comply with regulations

All health and social care organisations must ensure that they provide thorough manual training to all relevant staff to comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, failure to do so could result in prosecution.

Organisation’s reputation

Health and social care organisations have a responsibility to ensure that their staff have received the training they require to perform their duties safely. If a patient is injured as a result of incorrect moving and handling, then the mistake can be costly and damaging to the organisation’s reputation.

How long does moving and handling training last?

As we have seen, moving and handling training is very important in health and social care organisations and so should be carried out regularly.

Large health and social care organisations usually have internal trainers that have received professional moving and handling training, allowing them to provide regular training to new staff and refresher training to existing staff as and when required.

Having in-house trainers who have completed a ‘Train the Trainer’ course in moving and handling is usually a more cost-effective way for large healthcare organisations to provide regular moving and handling training to their workforce.

At a minimum, all health and social care staff should receive thorough training in moving and handling when they first join an organisation, followed by annual refresher training.

All staff should also receive updated training if new moving or handling equipment or techniques are introduced to ensure that they are competent using them and their knowledge is up to date.

According to advice from the HSE, rather than being treated as an annual chore to tick off, manual handling training should be treated as ‘an integral component of organisational practices with regular refresher components, as part of an overall manual handling risk assessment strategy.’

Whilst staff benefit from annual moving and handling refresher training, there is no need to stick strictly to this if more frequent training may be beneficial.

Moving and Handling: Train the Trainer Course

Here at Care Business Associates, we run a comprehensive four-day train the trainer course in moving and handling.

Our course covers a mixture of online theory learning and face-to-face practical training, carried out in your workplace.

On completion of the course, your in-house training staff will be equipped with all the knowledge and skills they require to provide effective moving and handling training to your health or social care workforce.

Find out when our Moving and Handling: Train the Trainer course is next running and book your place on the course online today. Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about the course give our team a call on 01772 816 922 or email admin@cba-training.co.uk.