Manual handling and the lawfulness of no-lift policies
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Manual handling and the lawfulness of no-lift policies

Richard Griffith Lecturer, School of Health Science, University of Wales, Swansea
Mary Stevens Lecturer, School of Health Science, University of Wales, Swansea

Recent discussions over the plight of a woman who had spent a year sleeping in her wheelchair because the local NHS trust refused to allow her to be lifted into bed highlight the dilemma facing nurses when they are required to manually handle patients (Andrews and Robinson 2003). Nurses are acutely aware that the manual handling of patients can result in back injury (McGuire and Dewar 1993). Yet they are also aware that they owe a duty to patients to provide nursing care to meet their needs and that might only be achieved through manual handling.

There is evidence that hospitals in particular have still not met the requirements of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (Trevelyan 2000). The hazards of working in the community environment have generally been better addressed as part of the assessment for and delivery of individual care packages. This article considers the law’s approach to balancing the opposing needs of nurses’ and patients’ health needs.

Nursing Standard. 18, 21,39-43. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.02.18.21.39.c3543

Correspondence

richard.griffith@swan.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review