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Investing in hospital bed mover machines from Mastermover has enabled Sodexo to improve porter productivity and reduce the risk of manual handling injuries at University Hospital of South Manchester.

Now only one porter is needed to move a patient bed, meaning the productivity of the hospital’s portering staff has improved dramatically.

The Bed Mover caters for any bed type, so there are no issues with connecting to the three types of bed at University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM).

UHSM is an acute teaching hospital trust that provides services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital.

It is recognised as a centre of clinical excellence and provides district general hospital services and specialist tertiary services to the local community.

Sodexo provides on-site service solutions to the NHS and other healthcare clients.

It manages non-clinical services such as food, cleaning, laundry, waste management, switchboard, car parking, interior and exterior building services.

At UHSM there are three types of bed with a total bed count of 1,045.

More than 100 porters, which are responsible for moving beds, are employed at the hospital.

The three Bed Movers are used for both general patient movement and within the AandE department and Acute Theatres.

Four months ago there were no machines for moving patient beds around the hospital.

Two porters would have to move a bed manually, which is not ideal in terms of productivity, and there was also a risk of injury to porters.

These factors encouraged Sodexo to find an alternative solution.

The Bed Mover is a compact machine specifically designed to manoeuvre patient beds quickly and easily, with little effort required from its single operator.

It attaches easily to all bed types, using a coupling mechanism that connects the machine to the castors on the bed.

British-designed and manufactured, the Bed Mover has standard ergonomic controls and safety features that make it suitable for healthcare environments.

The machine is small enough to fit easily into hospital lifts and to manoeuvre into tight spaces.

Rather than coupling to the headboard or framework of the bed, the Bed Mover uses a novel trapdoor mechanism where the operator simply pulls the castors of the bed onto a multi-positional wheel lock, located on each side of the machine.

As the wheel raises up, the bed castors drop into the trapdoor where they are effectively held in place.

The porter then simply pushes a button on the machine that raises the castors off the ground, which provides more control over the bed during movement.

Easy to clean or wipe down, the machine is finished in a white, anti-microbial paint and the coupling wheel lock has a polymer coat for durability.

The machine attaches to the top or bottom of the bed and can be manoeuvred and controlled from the opposite end of the bed using a joystick.

The Bed Mover benefits from a range of safety features, including power steering, auto-braking, emergency stop and variable speed control.

The AC motors on the machine also ensure quiet operation and improved control.

Having used Bed Movers for three months, Sodexo is already beginning to see payback in terms of improved productivity of porters and in reducing accident and injury claims.

54 porters are now trained to use the Bed Movers and their feedback has been positive.

Sodexo intends to buy another six Bed Movers in the near future.

The Bed Mover is backed up by support from Mastermover’s network of regional service engineers, who are on-hand to visit customer sites if a problem should occur on a machine, or if the customer requires extra training.

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