Moving and Handling People You Care For

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

One of the most challenging elements of independent care is in moving and handling people you care for.

The patient’s size may sometimes be larger than the carer, making it difficult to move them. Immobility of limbs can further add to the challenge of moving the patient.

With the right training and practice, a carer can follow simple moving and handling techniques to enable them to move the person they are caring for without difficulty.

These techniques can help prevent the risk of injury to both the carer and the person they are caring for.

Here, we will explore the basics of moving and handling the person that you care for. Additionally, we will discuss the manual handling training/moving and handling training that is available to help you manage it.

Nurse helping a patient to move

  1. sitting in a chair
  2. When standing up from a sitting position
  3. When walking or moving around
  4. When attempting to rise after a fall has occurred
  5. When getting in or out of a vehicle

Common carer injuries that can occur when moving people

There are a range of common injuries that can occur when carers are not moving and handling a patient properly and effectively.

This is why it is vital that all carers are given proper moving and handling training so that both parties are able to remain free from injury.

The most common injury for carers are injuries to the back and this can be very serious.

A back injury may limit the ability to offer care and can take a very long time to heal.

Other common injuries include damage to the skin, shoulder and neck.

Breathing problems can also occur where the weight of the patient restricts the carer’s ability to breathe.

Incorrect moving and lifting can be dangerous for both the patient and the carer, so it is essential that all staff and carers are provided with effective moving and handling training.

List of common injuries in moving and handling

Back Injuries

Shoulder Injuries

  • Roughly 20% of handling incidents
  • Often from sudden strains when steadying unsteady residents

Fall Injuries

  • Around 15% of patient assisting accidents
  • From slips or residents losing balance during transfers

Hand Injuries

  • Less common but serious
  • From severe force on heel of hand

Proper patient and people moving equipment and staff training on safe movement techniques are key to limit these common but avoidable injuries.

Implementing these can better protect care home assistants and nurses from harm.

Enhance your skills in moving and handling people with our trainings. Click here to learn more!

Unsafe Practice to Avoid When Lifting, Moving and Handling Individuals.

Here are some unsafe practices to be aware of when lifting, moving and handling people as a care worker, support worker or nurse::

  • Trying to lift or move someone by yourself that requires two or more people. This can injure both you and the other person.
  • Pulling someone up roughly from a seated position. This can strain their back and shoulders.
  • Not bending knees when lifting. Bending from the waist puts strain on your back.
  • Twisting while lifting or moving someone. This can cause back injury.
  • Carrying someone from behind without support under their legs. This risks their head and legs dangling.
  • Dragging or pushing someone across a surface without a proper wheelchair or hoist. This can bruise or tear their skin.
  • Moving someone’s limbs forcibly during dressing or bathing. This could dislocate joints or cause fractures.
  • Leaving someone unattended on an elevated surface like a changing table. They could fall off.
  • Trying to adjust someone’s position without keeping the spine straight. This can cause damage.
  • Using harsh grab bars or restraints when moving someone. This could bruise and injure them.
  • Rushing a transfer or lift. Moving slowly and communicating prevents injury.
  • Wearing unsafe footwear like high heels or slip-on shoes. This increases risk of falls for both parties.

The key is to always use safe approved moving and handling techniques, get help when needed, speak clearly, and avoid rushing when handling individuals in your care.

Essential considerations before lifting people

Moving and handling training will help to inform you on when it is safe to move and handle an individual.

A well trained carer will know when to ask for help rather than attempting to lift the patient on their own.

The following lifting checklist covers some of the basic and important elements of moving and handling that all carers should be aware of:

  • Is the movement or handling necessary?
  • Do you or the patient require help or supervision?
  • Is the patient aware that they are going to be moved?
  • Is the patient light enough for you to move and handle?
  • Are you physically fit enough to move and handle the patient?
  • How long will the movement of the patient take?
  • Is the space around you clear enough for moving and handling?
  • Are there any obstacles that may prevent moving and handling?
  • Is your clothing and footwear appropriate for you to move and handle in?

Some core learnings that will also be covered in moving and handling training includes the following:

  1. The importance of never lifting above shoulder height
  2. The importance of keeping feet stable throughout
  3. The importance of a firm hold
  4. How to keep the weight close to the body for better control
  5. How to keep your back straight and your knees bent for safer lifting
  6. How to move and handle the patient with smooth actions.

How is proper moving and handling training important

Moving and handling training can mean the difference between safety and injury for both the patient and the carer.

Wherever care is being given independently by a carer or where care is being given by multiple carers, it is essential that moving and handling training is given to protect all parties.

If an injury occurs to a caregiver then the patient may suffer and the recovery of the carer may be a long process that keeps them from offering care and limits the ability for independent living.

Our detailed blog post that covers the important of moving and handling with 7 reasons for consistent moving and handling training.

Enhance your practical skills in moving and handling people with our comprehensive trainings. Click here to learn more!

Better moving and handling people training results in more efficient care

Another key element in effectively training carers in manual handling of people is that it can make them more efficient at providing care.

Knowing how to moving with care will help reduce the common injuries we have pointed out.

With better moving technique and good understanding of safe moving and handling, carers may be able to more effectively provide care either alone or in smaller teams.

Where four untrained carers may struggle to move an individual safely, two well trained carers will often manage this with ease.

Where effective moving and handling training is provided, efficiencies of care will almost always follow.

Whether care is being given independently or with support this training can vastly improve the comfort and ability of all parties.

Consequences of Unsafe Moving and Handling People Practices in the UK

In the UK, not following safe moving and handling practices can have serious consequences:

  1. Safety Problems: When people don’t use the right ways to lift and move things, it breaks the rules for keeping everyone safe. This can get them in trouble with the law and they might have to pay a fine.
  2. More Injuries: If things aren’t moved and handled properly, it can hurt the person being moved and the people doing the moving. They might get hurt, feel pain, or have problems with their health in the future.
  3. Money Issues: When accidents happen because of bad moving and handling, it costs a lot of money. They have to pay for medical treatment, help with getting better, and maybe even give money to the person who got hurt.
  4. Unhappy Workers: If people are not trained properly or their work is not safe, they may not feel happy or satisfied with their jobs. This can make them not want to go to work or do a good job. It’s important to have a safe and happy work environment.
  5. Bad Reputation: When companies or organizations don’t take moving and handling seriously, people might hear about it and think they are not good or trustworthy. This can make others not want to be associated with them or use their services.

To avoid these problems, it’s important for everyone to learn and follow the right ways to move and handle people safely.

This means getting to know how to move people with care, using the right moving equipment and moving techniques, and always putting safety first.

Why choose Caring for Care for moving and handling people training?

At Caring for Care we draw on real life experience from practicing healthcare professionals to help you to understand how to carry out care in a safe and effective manner.

As carers themselves, our trainers will also understand the limitations and will provide training that takes into account the time pressures and the unique challenges that each carer faces.

Training can be delivered at a care premises or at off-site locations to best suit the needs of the caregivers and the patients.

With proper moving and handling training we can help you to ensure that everyone achieves the best possible quality of life.

Get more information trainings on moving and handling in locations around the UK by filling our enquiry form, sending a mail to or calling the number  01782 563333.

We offer bespoke moving and handling classes for care homes and nurses.

For individuals interested in practical moving and handling training, please contact our team for available dates to join our next training.

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