Securing patients

Staff with patient on stretcher at accident and emergency

Patient safety is something we’re all committed to and we want to ensure there is clarity about how important it is that staff are aware of their responsibilities in securing and transporting people travelling in the back of an ambulance.

The Trust is responsible for both supplying equipment that meets and has been tested to Central European Normalisation (CEN) and associated British standards for vehicles and equipment, and to train/familiarise staff in the use of the equipment. We have to also supply a CEN-compliant trolley-cot and harness, approved by the manufacturer, for all ambulances that convey stretcher patients.

Staff must always ensure the patient is secured on the trolley-cot via the harness. There will be times when it is not possible to use all of the straps to secure the patient, but this needs to be risk assessed for each patient. Any interventions required on the journey to the hospital will need to be justified in the event of an injury. If you cannot fully secure the patient, you must document the rationale on your patient record form.

Make sure the harness is not removed from the trolley-cot or the vehicle as it is a criminal offence to do so.

You are probably aware, but please remember the driver is responsible for the safety of the passengers and the load.

The operational instruction (OI 145) covers this in more detail, including some guidance on using the restraints (Pegasus MK2), which you can download here. Some 'safety whilst traveling' guidance is also available, which covers attending the patient, securing other occupants and securing equipment and luggage. You can view a copy here.

Published 15th June, 2017

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