Tilly was recently appointed as the equipment lead for her regional joint equipment loans store, funded by social care and NHS. Her role includes reviewing the current equipment stock to ensure it reflects the needs of service users and prescribers. One of her first tasks is re-organising the store’s slings and reducing costs to the commissioners on special slings.

During her first visit, the store’s manager showed Tilly two large transport cages of special slings that they couldn’t or struggled to reissue. Tilly was asked if there was a way of changing the slings to something more versatile to reduce waste and meet the community’s needs.

As a practising OT for over ten years and with an interest in moving and handling equipment, Tilly discusses with the store’s manager how modern sling designs have evolved from the classic universal tapered leg sling. She advises the store on more comfortable and versatile, modern deluxe-shaped slings. The unique leg design of the Prism Medical CA701 Deluxe Hammock supports the service user’s leg more evenly across the thigh, making it a more comfortable hoisting experience for the user. It is an excellent option whether the user is plus-size or small and frail. Also, the integral slide sheet material and padding in the leg supports make this sling easier to fit in many circumstances, including for a seated user.

Tilly also advised that the leg supports overlap/interlink and can support service users with lower limb amputations, highlighting the sling’s flexibility and the potential impact it could have on reducing the amount of special-order slings, thus reducing waste and saving money for the commissioners.

Transactive Advanced 272 ceiling track hoist with sling

In addition, Tilly was tasked to find a range of in-chair slings that would suit a variety of service users. She reviewed the CA702 in-chair hammock sling and the CA703 split leg variety, allowing air and moisture to pass through them more readily using a modern spacer fibre. These are ideal for individuals with high postural needs, where fitting and removing a sling in situ is hard or impossible.

Tilly discussed these slings with the store and OT service managers, highlighting their versatility and the potential to cut costs on special order slings, thus reducing waste. The OT service manager identified the need to train her teams on the new provisions. Tilly arranged product training with an OT-based moving and handling company at the local Prism Medical logistics hub.

In conclusion, Tilly’s expertise in modern sling designs and her ability to identify the community’s needs has allowed her to cut costs and reduce waste by introducing new sling designs. Her efforts have helped improve the hoisting experience for service users while providing a cost-effective solution for the commissioners.

Our friends at Athena Handling Ltd provided this case study. They are a moving and handling company that provides risk assessments and training based on over 20 years of Occupational Therapy practice.

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