Falling over and not being able to get back up is a very stressful experience for anyone and this can be more likely to happen in hospital when patients feel unwell and unsteady on their feet. It can be a difficult job to rescue patients from the floor, but new modern equipment at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals is making it much easier.

Explains Manual Handling Co-ordinator, Sue Southey: “We’ve invested over £9,000 in two new Hoverjack Air Patient Lift Systems, which enable us to rescue patients in a safer and quicker way than before. One of the biggest problems is that people can fall anywhere – in the toilet or in other small spaces. Until now, we’ve mainly used hoists to get patients up and it can take time to get the necessary equipment and staff in place to perform a safe lift. The beauty of the Hoverjack is that it’s quick and easy to use and makes the experience more comfortable and less stressful for the patient.”

This specialist kit works along the same principles as a sturdy air mattress and is made up of four sections which inflate individually, until the patient is at a suitable height to be transferred to a trolley or bed. It is particularly useful for rescuing patients from tight spaces or after cardiac arrest, as resuscitation and chest compressions can continue to be carried out whilst the patient lies flat on the Hoverjack and comes up from the ground.

Said Sue: “We’ve used the new kit twice now at St Peter’s Hospital – once for a patient who had fallen and once for a patient suffering a cardiac arrest. Both times it worked brilliantly and meant the rescue was much ‘slicker’ than it would have been using traditional methods. All clinical and portering staff are being trained to use the Hoverjack, which only takes around 15 minutes. One of the recent rescues was co-ordinated by John Turner, Senior Porter, who is also the Manual Handling Link Facilitator for the portering department.”

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