Why do you need Mhaps?

Moving and handling is the biggest cause of injury to staff in the health and social care sector.  It is estimated that there are 1.6 million working days lost each year, costing in excess of £400 million.

Despite the vast sums of money and time spent on moving and handling training, there are still significant numbers of injuries, prosecutions and sometimes fatalities due to inappropriate moving and handling.

Service users are at risk during interventions and there have been 41 fatalities in the last ten years and each year it is estimated that over a million people suffer avoidable harm during moving and handling interventions, in the health and social care sector.

Why is this happening?

Despite the vast amount of time and money spent on moving and handling training, the problem remains.  One of the key reasons is the disconnect between training, risk assessment and delivery of care.

‘The purpose of health and safety legislation is to give structure, procedures and routines which can be included in the everyday life of the individual.  The risk assessment should be part of the employee’s life and not a piece of paper locked away in a file.’ Hutter ( 2001)

Frequently, care staff do not refer to the risk assessment or care plan for instructions on the correct moving and handling interventions for their resident. There may be a number of reasons for this:

  • Pressures of time – staff will ask colleagues for instructions or do what they think best, to save time
  • Staff may have language or literacy barriers and are unable to interpret the content of the plan
  • Care plan is not accessible – maybe in managers locked office
  • Care plan has not been filed back in the correct place

    Impact on the care providing organisation:

    • Increased staffing costs due to working days lost, emergency cover and hire of temporary staff
    • Risk of litigation and associated costs
    • Loss of confidence in service by relatives, service users, local authorities and commissioning groups
    • Increased insurance premiums

    Impact on users of the care providing service:

      • Loss of confidence
      • Reduced mobility, leading to increased continence issues
      • Increased risk of infections
      • Risk of falls
      • Increased risk of pressure area sores


    • Wrong equipment being used for required task
    • Incorrect combination of hoist/sling type and size
    • Insufficient support to undertake required task – one carer instead of two
    • Failure to carry out required pressure care intervention
    • Failure to provide correct support for mobility and/ or transfer

    Staff sustain injuries by not using equipment to carry out task or attempt to undertake tasks single handed.

    Residents are at risk of slipping through or falling from slings during hoisting; risk of sustaining soft tissue injuries due to poor pressure are care and risk of slips, trips and falls when mobile.



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