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Bed Rail Safety in Care Homes

Bed rails are necessary for enhancing the safety of vulnerable residents in care and nursing homes. Bed rails provide great reassurance for residents who may be anxious about falling from their beds, they also help prevent serious injuries and even fatalities as a result of falling from beds.

It is important that home managers train their staff on how to appropriately use such equipment in order to protect residents from risk or injury and in some cases, even death.

Here are some important considerations when implementing bed rails in homes to help prevent injuries and fatalities.

  • A risk assessment should always be carried out by a competent person. They should take into account the bed occupant, the bed, mattresses, bed rails and all associated equipment.

  • The bed rail needs to be suitable for the bed and mattress.

  • The mattress must fit securely between the rails.

  • The rail should be correctly fitted and secure. It must regularly be inspected and maintained.

  • Any gaps must be eliminated to avoid entrapment of neck, head and chest.

  • Staff must be well-trained in the risks and safe use of bed rails.

The Care Quality Commission has recently highlighted the importance of assessing the person’s capacity, and getting their consent for the use of bed rails, in addition of the risk assessments.

It is important that a management plan is put in place that includes regular risk assessments and reviews of all the installed bed rails as well as other equipment.

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