Patient handling Training Course

Patient handling training is also referred to as: patient moving, people moving, and people handling.

The aim of this Patient Handlingtraining course is to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and attitude to perform people moving tasks safety.

This course is designed for workers who need to be trained to safely move and handle patients, with injury or decreased mobility. The Patient Handling course is popular with: carers, healthcare, nursing home, hospital, and respite centre employees.

Available as an Onsite Course

Available as a Public Course

Course Objectives
Rates of musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion in healthcare occupations are among the highest of all industries and manual handling is the most commonly reported accident trigger in the healthcare sector.  Manual handling injuries in healthcare result both; patient handling, and the manual handling of inanimate loads.

These injuries can have a significant impact on resources in terms of absenteeism and costs from claims arising from such incidents. Patient Handling training can help to reduce injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders. Reducing injuries not only helps workers, but also will improve patient care and the bottom line.

On completion of this Patient Handling course participants will be able to:

  • List the duty of the employers and employees in relation to manual and patient handling.
  • Explain the purpose composition and characteristics of the main parts of the spinal column and explain their relevance to manual handling.
  • Conduct a patient handling risk assessment and identify hazards associated with manual handling tasks.
  • Recognise a load which is too heavy or awkward.
  • List the equipment available to avoid or reduce the risks associated with manual handling tasks.
  • Perform manual handing tasks in accordance with the principles of safe manual handling; lift and handle patients safely.
Course Topics
  • Legislation.
  • Hazard identification and risk assessment.
  • Dangers of careless and unskilled lifting methods, how the body is harmed through incorrect patient handling techniques.
  • The musculoskeletal system.
  • Anatomy, structure and function of the spine.
  • Posture and back pain.
  • Importance of physical fitness and flexibility.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Principles of safe manual and patient handling.
  • Patient handling techniques, methods of assistance.
  • Patient handling moves: sitting up, turning, standing, walking and sitting.
  • Principles of levers and laws of motion.
  • Standard preparation for assistance.
  • Basic stance.
  • General use of equipment, use of hoists, slings, slide sheets, banana boards, and turntables.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Mechanical equipment.
  • Encouraging independent mobility.
  • Assisting babies and small children.
  • Assisting individuals with dementia, anxiety and non-compliant behaviour.
  • Assisting plus-size individuals.
  • Dealing with a falling and fallen patient.

The practical aspects of the course include:

  • Inanimate lifting, Lifting a load from:
    • Floor to floor.
    • Bench to bench.
    • Bench to height.
    • Pulling and pushing.
    • Team handling.
  •  Patient Handling techniques can include:
    • Log rolling.
    • Sitting patient up in bed (multiple techniques).
    • Turning patient in bed using sliding sheets.
    • Moving patient up the bed using sliding sheets.
    • Sitting Patient to edge of bed.
    • Standing patient.
    • Transferring patient from bed to chair using various methods.
    • The falling patient.
    • Trolley transfers.
    • Use of hoists.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 & associated General Application Regulations 2007.

Regulation 68 of the 2007 regulations defines ‘manual handling of loads’ as: ‘any transporting or supporting of a load by one or more employees and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying, or moving a load, which, by reason of its characteristics or of unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves risk, particularly of back injury, to employees.’

Regulation 69(a) of the 2007 Regulations

Under common law the employer has duty of care to employees to provide:
An employer must ensure that the workplace and environment of work are reasonaby safe for the employee.
An employer must ensure that the plant and equipement provided are safe and must also ensure that plant and equipment are maintained (e.g. inspection, tests must be undertaken as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
An employer must ensure the system of work is safe.
An employer must ensure that all employees are aware of their duties in relation to the safety, health and welfare of their colleagues.

Employers have duties imposed upon them to take appropriate measures or suitable means to avoid the need for manual handling of loads, example mechanical equipment. Manual handling often cannot be avoided, therefore, employers must look as measures to reduce the risk involved in the manual handling of loads.

Where the individual is the ‘load’ it is reasonable to assume the assistance of’manual handling’ could be hazardous – people can be unpredicable, present with complex physical, mental and behvioural attributes, may be on medication or have medical issues. There may well be instances when ‘avoidance’ is appropriate, It would not, however, be reasonably practical to say that people handling must be avoided at all costs to reduce the risk to the handler. The handler must not be left to undrtake this task without suitable assessment, guidance and training. This is seen as balanced-decision making.


A maximum of 12 participants can attend each Patient Handling training session.


Onsite patient handling training sessions are usually 1 full day in duration, as manual handling in covered in the morning and the patient handling portion of the course is covered in the afternoon.

However, should a participant have an in-date manual handling certificate they can request an exemption from the manual handling portion of the course, which will reduce the course duration to a half day.


On successful competition of the Patient Handling course participants will receive a House Certificate. The certification will expire after 2-years.


Participants are required to renew their training by completing the course again. Renewals should happen before the certification expires, or sooner if indicated by their company’s risk assessment.

Course Entry Requirements

There are no special entry requirements for participants associated with this course.

However, participants should be physically well enough to carry out a range of patient moving and handling techniques.

Site Requirements

For onsite training the client is responsible for providing beds, hoists and various patient moving equipment for the practical demonstration element of this course.

Should the client not have this equipment onsite please advise in advance of booking and we will try to make arrangements.

Public Course Dates

Summary Of Assessments
Participant will be assessed on their practical lifting techniques.

Useful Information

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Patient Handling Courses

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