Healthcare equipment routinely used in Britain’s hospitals has caused a stir in Nigeria where such aids have been unknown - until now.
In a presentation to an international Global Health conference in Lagos, the Nigerian capital, last month, Sue Southey, Adviser on Moving and Manual Handling at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, demonstrated – not in person but over the internet via Skype from Ashford Hospital 7,500 miles away – a range of aids like slide sheets and electrically-adjusted beds which are routinely used here to make the moving of patients safer and more comfortable.
Such aids can hugely reduce the incidence of pressure sores and other problems. In her presentation, Sue explained how effective moving and handling, plus good patient positioning, can help to prevent pressure sores developing. The delegates had the opportunity to ask Sue questions, which led to excited discussions about how this could help staff and patients in Africa. The conference delegates were able to try out the slide sheets, thanks to the support of GBUK Banana, Ashford and St Peter’s supplier, who had sent out 100 slide sheets in advance of the conference.
Sue Southey said: “Patient handling and positioning is at the core of pretty much everything we do, so we need to do this well. We are privileged in this country that we have access to many moving and handling aids.
“I strongly believe that a slide sheet, a simple and relatively inexpensive product, has revolutionised the way we move and handle patients.
“Moving patients in bed has become safer and more comfortable by reducing friction and other factors responsible for potential pressure damage. There is the added benefit of protecting our staff by avoiding the need to lift patients.”