Electric profiling beds
Please note if you are a provider registered with CQC, and with premises located in England, CQC is the relevant regulatory body for patient safety matters
Beds are key items of equipment in health and social care, yet the importance of providing the right bed for patients and care service users is sometimes overlooked. In the UK, many hospital and community beds are of the standard hydraulic type. These are foot pump-operated with a flat base and a backrest.
Unlike a standard hydraulic bed, the base of the electric profiling bed (EPB) is sectioned. The mattress can therefore be profiled to sit the user up and prevent them slipping down the bed. The height can also be adjusted. Movement is powered and controlled via a bedside handset by staff and, if appropriate, the bed's occupant.
EPBs can help overcome many of the difficulties associated with the positioning and mobilisation of individuals. Well-designed EPBs offer many advantages, including:
- reduced risk of injury to staff and bed occupants
- increased patient/service user independence
- faster recovery from illness
- improved cost-effectiveness
Whilst the last three of these are outside HSE's remit, the first is not. Where patients or service users need to be handled in bed the reduction in risk is such that providing EPBs must be considered under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended).
Find out more
- Assessment and provision of electric profiling beds within social care settings
report by the Welsh Local Government Association's Manual Handling Forum
- Electric profiling beds in healthcare
- Electric profiling beds in hospitals: Case studies
- Electric profiling beds in residential and nursing homes: Manual handling and service user benefits Research report RR764 prepared by the Health and Safety Laboratory for HSE (2010)
- An evaluation of electric profiling beds in the acute hospital setting: benefits to patient care and manual handling Research report by HSE comparing two acute hospitals (one with and one without EPBs) within the same NHS Trust (2004)
- Moving and handling
- Musculoskeletal disorders