Healthcare academics at Birmingham City University have developed a new approach to moving and handling training which has seen a 92% reduction in student injuries whilst on placement in a variety of healthcare settings.
The posture awareness programme was introduced in 2009 and last year saw 7120 students go through the programme with only three reported incidents of injury.
Lead Academic in Moving and Handling, Stephen Wanless from the University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, claims that these new training principles have not only revolutionised traditional manual handling procedures but also have the potential to save money across the NHS if it were adopted on a larger scale.
He said: “Despite moving and handling training being mandatory in the UK since 1992, 40% of NHS absences are related to musculoskeletal disorders that cost the NHS around £400,000,000 every year. Based on the principles we have developed in our new training programme it could be possible save the NHS millions of pounds a year lost due to staff musculo-skeletal injuries.”
Based on the principles of body mechanics the programme teaches awareness of the factors that can lead to musculo-skeletal risk and includes an on-line theoretical training component that helps students retain the knowledge, develop their skills and take personal responsibility for their own safety.
“Following the implementation of this new approach we have seen a drastic reduction in injures amongst our students,” continues Stephen.
“Back injuries as a result of poor moving and handling techniques are all too common. They can affect people’s lives and cost society millions every year. That is why it is so important that anyone who is going to perform moving and handling tasks is properly trained.”
To further reinforce Birmingham City University’s expertise in this field it has launched the Centre of Excellence in Posture, Movement and Handling.
“We are now developing the infrastructure to become the leading, internationally recognised agency in the provision, promotion, research and development of moving, handling, posture and positioning education,” added Stephen.