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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

    Manufacturer’s instructions for moving and handling equipment

    Devon Moving and Handling Group produced a list manufacturers’ instructions for moving and handling equipment, which is available from Millbrook. The document also contains useful video links.

    DILIS hoist and sling checks

    Healthcare equipment must be well maintained to ensure clients and care staff remain safe. Inspection and servicing of hoists and slings is a legal requirement under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). Hoists and Slings are part of a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) schedule, which is in place to make sure the equipment stays in good condition, and is safe for clients and carers to use.

    Anyone using hoists and slings is responsible for carrying out these important safety checks prior to each use.
    Hoists – mobile (electric and hydraulic), gantry hoists and motors, ceiling track systems and electric stand aids.

    • the hoist is fully charged, the battery and any leads are fitted correctly
    • there are no obvious signs of damage or fluid leaks from the hoist
    • the raise/lower mechanism works and the emergency stop button is set correctly
    • the lifting tape is intact and not frayed (applies to ceiling track, gantry hoists and certain mobile hoists)
    • the castors move freely, ie free from carpet fibres/ fluff etc (mobile and standing hoists) and
    • the base adjustment/hoist legs move freely (mobile and standing hoists).


    • the sling is the correct size and type for the client and is fit for purpose;
    • sling and hoist are compatible
    • all labels are legible and show the SWL and unique identifier and size
    • there are no signs of fraying, tears or deterioration etc
    • all stitching is present and intact
    • the velcro (if applicable) is clean and free of fibres/ fluff etc
    • the buckle (if applicable) has no signs of damage etc
    • the loops/clips have no obvious signs of damage, fraying etc and
    • is clean

    If you identify a fault with either the hoist or sling notify the Service Provider – Millbrook Healthcare Tel: 0330 124 4491
    DO NOT USE UNTIL mended/replaced.
    Carefully RISK ASSESS the situation.

    Additional information on LOLER and safe hoisting and maintaining lifting equipment can be found at:

    Vertical hoist lifting of service users

    Ensure Vertical Hoist Lifting Of Service Users

    a hoistAlways ensure that when hoisting service users the hoist straps and lifting motor are in a position vertically above the service user.

    If the hoist straps and motor are not positioned vertically above the service user, it will cause excessive wear to the hoisting equipment, can cause the hoist to fail and become unsafe and potentially put the safety of the service user and carers at risk.

     If you have any questions please contact Ian Deakin Contract Operational Manager – Devon Independent Living Integrated Service – tel 07980 905126

    Using community equipment safely

    a walking frame, adjustable bed and reclining armchairProvider staff must immediately notify a Health or Social Care professional, where they may be needing to use items of equipment with a client, in a manner for which it was not designed. Do not put excessive force on items of community equipment, or use it in any way which would put the client’s or carer’s safety at risk.


    Instructions to ensure safe hoisting of service users and safe use of gantry hoists

    Always ensure that when using any hoist to transfer a service user, the hoist straps and lifting motor are in a position vertically above the service user, using slide sheets or bed to reposition them prior to lifting/lowering.

    If the hoist straps and motor are not positioned vertically above the service user, it will cause excessive wear to the hoisting equipment, can cause the hoist to fail and become unsafe and potentially put the safety of the service user and carers at risk.

    When using Gantry Hoists ensure carers  are aware of the instructions regarding checking, prior to each lift, that the hoist gantry does not have the red marker showing at the top of the upright, which indicates the gantry is not tightly secured to the ceiling and is therefore unsafe.

    Any concern regarding the safety of any equipment MUST be reported immediately to the equipment provider.
    For DILIS (Millbrook Healthcare) issued equipment contact:
    Tel: 0330 124 4491  (24 hour number) or Email Millbrook


    Guidance regarding adjustment of community equipment

    a yellow speech bubble with the letter i in itGuidance – Adjustment of Community Equipment 19 Feb 2018

    This guidance is issued in response to a serious incident relating to community equipment that was recently brought to the attention of the Community Equipment Service Commissioners. It is important to share the learning from this incident.

    Find below new guidance that will be issued to all prescribers of DILIS and is being brought to the attention of independent providers for information :-

    Do not adjust or remove fitted or installed equipment provided by Devon Independent Living Integrated Service (DILIS) from Millbrook Healthcare Ltd or issued via accredited retailers, unless you are qualified and trained to do this.

     The only exception is for equipment which has to be removed for cleaning; for example some bathing, showering and toileting equipment:

    • Remove the equipment.
    • Clean it as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
    •  Refit it exactly as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Beds, hoists, mattresses, and many other items of  complex equipment must never be taken apart, adjusted or modified in any way, except by the qualified, trained Millbrook Healthcare driver/technician or accredited retailer. There is a potential risk and associated liability in doing so.


    Community equipment recycling and reuse information

    How and where to return community equipment so it can be recycled and reused?

    An arrow and the words returning your equipmentDevon Community Equipment Service

    Community Equipment in Devon is jointly funded by the NHS & Devon County Council and is provided, on their behalf, by Millbrook Healthcare Ltd, who recycle and reuse as much equipment as possible. The service excludes Plymouth City and Torbay Council areas.

    Most community equipment is provided on loan, but some may be provided via a “retail prescription” from a local pharmacy or mobility shop, which means that the equipment belongs to the individual, so they can choose to keep the equipment or return it if they no longer need it. Small items of equipment which are permanently fixed to homes, like grab rails and hand rails, whether loaned or provided by prescription, are not collected and recycled.

    When equipment is returned, the NHS & Devon County Council save money by reusing the equipment, wherever practically and economically possible. Any equipment that can’t be reused because it is too old or worn, is offered to charities where appropriate, or recycled for its metals and plastics, with no items going to landfill.

    Returning Equipment

    The Community Equipment Service does not routinely collect a single low cost item of equipment from an individual’s home as it is not economically viable to collect, clean and refurbish a single low cost item such as a walking frame, shower stool or stick.

    These smaller items of equipment can be taken to local collection and recycling points, from which Millbrook make frequent and regular collections.

    If equipment is to be collected from a persons’ home, there is a minimum value for the total of all the items of equipment to be collected. This is set at £30 as this is the level that makes sure it is economical for Millbrook to make a collection, clean and refurbish the items.

    Collections with a total (or single) value of over £30 from individual homes are usually carried out within 5 working days, but this can be arranged sooner with Millbrook, if there is a bereavement for example. If someone is unsure of the value or wants to arrange a collection they can contact Millbrook:-

    Telephone: 0330 124 4491

    Email: DevonContactUs

    If a person has a small item of equipment which they no longer need and are unable to take the equipment to a local collection or recycling centre, or they don’t have family or friends who can help them, then a local voluntary group or charity may be able to assist.

    If the persons needs have changed, they should contact their health or social care professional to review their equipment.

    List Of Equipment Recycling Points in Devon

    Robin hoist emergency stop user guide


    Invacare Robin Hoist Motor – Emergency Stop Function

    Please read the following User Guide regarding the Emergency Stop / Lowering Function on the Invacare Robin Hoist Motor.

    These are delivered to clients from the Devon Independent Living Integrated Service (DILIS).

    Reminder for all staff in the use of hoists

    a hoistBackground:

    There has been another recent incident where there was significant risk of injury to the individual being hoisted when a gantry hoist collapsed.

    There have also been several earlier incidents where gantry hoists have collapsed.

    No fault was found with the equipment in any of the cases.

    The faults were deemed to be due to “unintentional misuse / user error”.

    Actions required before each lift/operation:

    For All Hoists – Always:-

    Complete a visual check of the hoist unit/sling condition and report IMMEDIATELY any wear or damage.
    Check that the servicing and safety checks are valid and in date (usually shown on stickers on the hoist).
    Ensure you are familiar with the equipment operating instructions.
    Ensure that you are familiar with how to use the type of sling and the handling plan for the individual.
    Report any unusual noises or changes in how the hoist operates IMMEDIATELY to the equipment provider and do NOT use until a servicing check has been completed.
    The emergency lower facility should only be used in extreme circumstances.  If the emergency lower operation has been required, report the use of this to the equipment provider IMMEDIATELY and do NOT use until a servicing check has been completed. (Please see separate Robin Hoist Emergency Stop Guidance Document.

    For Gantry Hoists – Always: –

    Ensure the gantry hoist is securely installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions supplied with the equipment.
    Ensure Vertical Hoist Lifting of Service Users At All Times. When hoisting service users, the hoist straps and lifting motor MUST be positioned vertically above the service user. If the hoist straps and motor are not positioned vertically above the service user, it will cause excessive wear to the hoisting equipment, can cause the hoist to fail, become unsafe and potentially put the safety of the service user and carers at risk.
    Gantry hoists can collapse if used incorrectly.
    Gantry Hoists can be at risk of collapse if moved e.g. due to a collision.Gantry hoists are considered the temporary hoisting solution unless there are specific environmental reasons why a ceiling track hoist cannot be installed.

    Ceiling track hoists are a permanent and safer hoisting solution:

    Care Agencies should contact their Moving & Handling Advisor and request a reassessment with the aim of replacing a gantry hoist with a permanent ceiling track hoist if at all possible.

    For equipment provided through Millbrook (Devon Community Equipment Service provider) :-

    Contact Millbrook 0330 124 4491 if you need to check the LOLER (Safety) test expiry date of any hoists and slings you are using.

    To continue to ensure the safety of both those you support and your staff, please ensure that this guidance is made readily available and that all staff are familiar with the requirement and actions.

    Sarah Cambridge – Principal Occupational Therapist Devon County Council    16.10.19

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