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Equipment Information for Moving and Handling

Correct and safe moving and handling skills and equipment are essential to the well-being of both carers and disabled people. Different situations will require different types of moving and handling equipment.

Staff at Disabled Living aim to help and give advice on products and equipment that may help make daily living both easier and safer.

The equipment centre staff have extensive knowledge of national and local suppliers of equipment and can offer practical advice and details of where to get most disability products.

Disabled Living has on loan from companies, 100's of different types of disability equipment.

If you wish to try the equipment and to speak at length with an Occupational Therapist about equipment suitable for your needs please telephone Disabled Living for an appointment on:

0161 607 8200

Or email a member of the Equipment Centre staff at: equipment@disabledliving.co.uk

In order for staff to give you the right information please include in your email the area where you live or work.

Types of Moving and Handling Equipment

Sometimes people are confused by the terminology (names) of different Moving and Handling equipment and this does not always help to give a clear indication of what a certain piece of equipment does. Here at Disabled Living we refer to Moving and Handling equipment as follows:

Mobile Hoist

Can be either manual or electric and are used to move people from beds to nearby chairs or wheelchairs to car for example. The term does not mean that it is safe to move a person for long distances whilst suspended from a sling attached to a mobile hoist.

Ceiling Track Hoist

This is a system that is fixed either overhead or wall mounted (also referred to as Overhead Tracking System). Using tracks attached to the ceiling a person can be secured in a sling and moved along a system of rails.

Bath HoistNot to be confused with bath lifts. The bath hoist is usually a floor fixed piece of equipment that offers either a sling or chair seat to lower the person into a bath.

Other types of Moving and handling equipment include

  • Slings-made from different materials and designed for different usage for example there are toileting slings and bathing slings and slings for transferring from chair to bed etc or bespoke slings to meet individual personal requirements 
  • Stand aids-can help a person from a sitting to a standing position or some types can be used by carers for short distance transfers
  • Slide sheets-helpful to carers when repositioning a person or introducing a sling
  • Belts-used by carers to help with short distance transfer
  • Turn disk-are for transferring people, who have lost their step ability, from one 
  • sitting position to another sitting position
  • Transfer boards-different designs, shapes and materials all with a unique purpose enabling lateral transfer

Moving and Handling features heavily in the care of people with long term illness and disabilities. Carers need to be aware of correct handling procedures and must always be mindful of their own well being and safety. 

Bear in Mind

Any equipment used must be suitable and safe for the person to use. Everyone will have different requirements and needs, so what may suit one person may be of little or no use to someone else. Also, think about the possibility of using a ceiling track hoist or other free standing hoist equipment to help with bathing and toileting needs.

Where to get Equipment from

There are now many high street shops that sell a vast range of equipment. But could you be buying something you are entitled to get from either the NHS or Local Social Services? The offer of equipment from these services is limited. SO if you are in hospital ask to see the hospital Occupational Therapist, if you are at home, contact your local Town Hall for your nearest Social Services Department and if you are in residential care ask the Care Manager.

Second-hand Equipment.

Almost all equipment can be bought second-hand. This is a good way of saving money if the equipment is in good working order and is a fraction of the cost new. But, do be aware that second-hand goods will have a shorter life-span than new products. Also that warranties will probably have run out or may not be transferable to another owner.


  • The second-hand goods you are buying are in a good state of repair
  • Check no removable parts are missing
  • Ask for the original instructions
  • Ask to see the equipment working
  • Ask about any contacts the seller may have that could service or repair the equipment

BUT perhaps most important of all-don't buy something because it's cheap; buy it because it is safe and suitable for you to use.

Disabled Living advise that people obtain guidance from an Occupational Therapist or other such healthcare professional before purchasing disability equipment.

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