A NEW hoist that will help patients with spinal injuries stand on their own two feet has been installed at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
The free standing ceiling hoist was purchased for the spinal injuries unit thanks to the generosity of The James Cook Hospital Voluntary Services, who donated £12,000.
Pam Marley, specialist physiotherapist at James Cook, is delighted with the new hoist and the benefits it brings to both patients and staff.
Pam said “Many of our patients need a lot of help to get in and out of wheelchairs and although we have mobile hoists, the ceiling hoist makes the hoisting process much easier. It sits overhead which allows us to position the patients really well, directly underneath.
“The ceiling hoist can also be used as a rehabilitation tool. We use it to teach people how to do transfers in and out of the wheelchairs. And it has a standing harness that we can put on the patients to lift them up to a standing position.
“Patients who meet certain criteria to have some recovery work on their legs can use the harness to take the weight through their legs. When they are in this positon we can help them to step or we can bring our sets of parallel bars over so the patients can practice getting up on their feet.
“It’s safer for the patients and for the staff. Before this we would have to support patients ourselves and quite often patients are worried that they could hurt us or we might not be able to hold them up. But when they see a big hoist like that they are more confident, making it a better experience for them.
“The hoist also means that it doesn’t take as many staff to move patients around, freeing them up to help other patients.”
Kathryn Langman, senior physiotherapist, said: “I arranged some free training last year on how hoists can be used as rehabilitation aids, not just manual handling aids. A ceiling hoist and a selection of different slings were loaned to us for a couple of months by the manufacturer so this training could be practised afterwards.
“After finding the equipment so useful, we put a request in to The James Cook Hospital Voluntary Services for support in buying our own – and they gave us the full amount, which means we now have a ceiling hoist at the unit permanently.”