Safer Patient Handling exercises during a pandemic.

11 Feb 2022

Since the start of the pandemic, we have all had to make countless adjustments to the way we work – whether that be through wearing different PPE, taking regular tests or safe distancing.

Training remains mandatory and therefore we should remain open to methods that allow us to continue with effective and measurable training, whilst being mindful of the problems posed by a highly contagious disease such as Covid.

Ruth Lee Ltd is a manufacturer of rescue training manikins and also members of NASHiCS. During the pandemic they have reported a huge surge in demand from the health and care sectors. 

What has caused this demand? The necessity for health and care professionals to continue with mandatory training in aspects such as moving and handling or emergency evacuation – whilst minimising personal contact and maintaining social distancing.

It would seem then, that manikins are the answer to this particular dilemma!

Sarah Hampson, Ruth Lee’s International Development Manager said,

“Training during the pandemic has been a challenge – especially where any aspect of that training involved handling other people. Almost from day one of the first lockdown, our phone rang off the hook with healthcare staff looking for ways to continue with their mandatory moving & handling training – a demand exacerbated by needing to train more & more new recruits as & when staff were forced to self-isolate.

We already had a Patient Handling manikin which was popular with hospital moving and handling coordinators and Occupational Therapists, but last year we worked with several NHS Trusts to redevelop the manikin to include several enhanced features, including an amputee feature. A lost limb can drastically alter the dynamic of using slings and hoists, so this manikin lets teams experience that with a manikin, rather than risking the patient in their care. 

Our manikins have been a game-changer for many trusts, care providers and occupational therapists, with many telling us that they will not go back us using live people in training. Using manikins, staff can learn through repetition and mistake – whilst trainers minimise the risk of blame if an accident happens. All whilst minimising person-to-person contact.”


It’s not just the Patient Handling Manikin that has proven popular during the pandemic…Ruth Lee Ltd was also approached by one of the UK’s largest private care providers to seek assistance with a ‘bariatric’ crisis. The Provider needed to find a solution that would allow their teams to learn how to handle a bariatric person safely, but also to design and practice emergency evacuation procedures within several of their facilities. 

Ruth Lee Ltd manufactures 3 bariatric manikins, weighing in at 90kg (when bulk but not too much excess weight is required), 180kg and 260kg! It seems that obesity is a national problem and more and more obese clients are now appearing in care homes – would your staff be prepared, skilled, and able to move a bariatric person in an emergency?