Ask Sheila - Archive
Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.
Can I call 999 to pick up residents because of our no lifting policy?
I have been advised today by a paramedic that there is a new law come into force that if a resident of mine should fall and I call 999 to pick them up as we have a "no lifting" policy then we will be reported, that organisations now have to provide inflatable cushions etc to assist if the resident is not hurt??
Thank you for your question.
Because of the complexity of this question, I asked our Health and Safety expert for his opinion and his answer is below. I think that the clauses in The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 section 4 is quite clear. This is his full response:
"Firstly this is generally a clinical decision and thus an RGN or other Registered Manager would probably be more suited to answering this question. Manual handling is a last resort after other options like hoists and other mechanical control measures have been deemed impracticable. Either way all staff have to be trained in whatever application is applicable in a given situation in line with their company’s policies and procedures. My advice would need to be from a health and safety angle, i.e.: The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 section 4
4.—(1) Each employer shall—
(a)so far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of their being injured; or
(b)where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid the need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of their being injured—
(i)make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such manual handling operations to be undertaken by them, having regard to the factors which are specified in column 1 of Schedule 1 to these Regulations and considering the questions which are specified in the corresponding entry in column 2 of that Schedule,
(ii)take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury to those employees arising out of their undertaking any such manual handling operations to the lowest level reasonably practicable, and
(iii)take appropriate steps to provide any of those employees who are undertaking any such manual handling operations with general indications and, where it is reasonably practicable to do so, precise information on—
(aa)the weight of each load, and
(bb)the heaviest side of any load whose centre of gravity is not positioned centrally.
Generally speaking you would not ring 999 just because a resident needs lifting unless there was significant concern about their well-being, though there are different settings in which this could happen. Resident generally refers to a care home and high dependence care rather than care in the community.
In a Care Home or where the CQC standards apply generally there is an RGN or Registered Manager who can make this decision rather than a carer who probably would not be able to move a resident and hence a "no lifting policy" is in place. I understand this stems from a tightening of The Care Act 2014 and the reported issues of residents who had previous been incorrectly moved.
There is I understand a contact number 111 which can be rung for advice in which the worker is guided through the process and if felt necessary 999 could be rung."
I hope this is helpful. Please come back to me if you require further information.
*All information is correct at the time of publishing.
Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.
For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.
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