Expert Insights

Latest news stories and opinions about the Dental, GP and Care Industries. For your ease of use, we have established categories under which you can source the relevant articles and news items.

04th July 2016

Bed Rail Management Safety

Bedrails are used in care homes to protect vulnerable adults from falling out of bed, but they can also pose risks that must be identified and controlled.

CASE: Death Due to Poor Bed Rail Management

A leading health care organisation has been fined over the inappropriate management of bedrails at one of its care homes, a vulnerable adult died at the home where the bed rail was used. The home admitted breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £400,000 with £15,206 costs.

According to the HSE, the Specialist Nursing Home failed to ensure it managed the risk of bedrails through appropriate assessment and review of bedrail arrangements, and failed to train staff in the assessment of and safe use of bedrails.

The risk to vulnerable adults from poor bed rail management leading to injuries are known. In addition, death can occur where vulnerable adults fall through gaps or get caught through gaps between a mattress and a bed rail.

Recommendation for Bed Rail Management

  • Ensure there is a bed rail management policy in place which is reviewed and updated as necessary
  • Ensure that the bed rail policy is communicated to all staff including agency workers
  • Ensure that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is developed to assess the risk of using a bed rail for each user
  • The risk assessment should be reviewed at intervals and always after a change in the health and condition of the vulnerable adult
  • The risk assessor carrying out the risk assessment should be trained in how to carry out appropriate risk assessments to ensure all hazards are identified, controls are put in place and actions taken
  • Ensure staff are given information, instruction and training in the use of bed rails with regular refreshers
  • Ensure a monitoring schedule is in place for staff to check the bed rail at planned regular intervals during the day and night. This is to ensure any defects or movement in position is identified and actioned
  • Ensure that sensor pads are switched on as this will alert staff
  • Ensure bed rails are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and follow safe operating instructions for use
  • Ensure all the bed rail equipment is compatible with the bed and mattress and is designed to be used together

References

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/bupa-care-homes-fined-400000-over-bedrail-failures/

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Sally Beck

QCS Expert Health and Safety Contributor

Sally is a multi skilled Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner with extensive experience of health, safety, quality and environmental consulting within the different industry sectors.She is also a Registered Nurse with previous nursing experience in both the private sector and the National Health Services. With extensive experience of CQC standards she has provided support and advice in implementing and managing health and safety. Read more

Leave a Reply

Join over 27,000 users already using the QCS Management System!
Start Free Trial
Back to Top
FOR TODAY ONLY, we have extended the offer, Save £350 when you buy before 5PM
Find out more
Introducing Our BIGGEST AUTUMN SPECIAL OFFER EVER - Save £350 when you buy before Wednesday 30th Nov 2016
Find out more

Register here for your FREE TRIAL

  • Try our unique Management System, or any of our individual packs
  • PLUS! Gain FREE trial access to our Mock Inspection Toolkit
  • Over 2,300+ pages of easy to use guidance and 300+ policies & procedures

Simply fill out the form below and get full access for 24 hours to a QCS Management System of your choice.

Start FREE Trial Click here