Moving and handling and patient safety: Analysis of clinical incidents

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Aim: The aim of this study is to identify the potential contribution of moving and handling practice to clinical incidents through an analysis of incident data. Background: Previous studies focusing on moving and handling have highlighted potential harm to patients through poor practice, and have suggested that this might be an issue for patient safety. However, this has not been identified in studies analysing clinical incident reports, where the potential contribution of moving and handling has not been recognized. This study reports an analysis of clinical incident data from the specific perspective of moving and handling. Design: Survey of clinical incident reports in hospital in-patient care settings Method: A random sample of 500 incident reports was analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis of qualitative data. Results: There is an indication that some staff are not following recommended moving and handling policy through a lack of risk assessment; for example, in the selection of appropriate actions to assist patients, and in the prevention of further occurrences of incidents where patients had fallen. The limited detail within the reports affected consideration of the causes of the incidents and actions that could be taken to prevent a further occurrence. Conclusions: Some of the reported staff actions may contravene policy guidelines. Missing detail in the incident reports inhibited investigation of incidents that could lead to appropriate and safe systems of work being identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2012


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