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Better training could reduce NHS injuries

11 December 2014

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A new approach to moving and handling training has seen a 92% reduction in student injuries.

The Posture Awareness programme was developed by healthcare academics at Birmingham City University and last year trained 7,120 students – with only three reports of injury.

Initially introduced in 2009 the programme teaches awareness of the factors that can lead to musculoskeletal risk.

It also includes an on-line theoretical training component that helps students retain the knowledge, develop their skills and take personal responsibility for their own safety.

Lead Academic in Moving and Handling, Stephen Wanless from the University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, believes the programme has the potential to save money across the NHS if it were adopted on a larger scale.

He said: “ Despite moving and handling training being mandatory in the UK since 1992, 40% of NHS absences are related to musculoskeletal disorders that cost the NHS around £400,000,000 every year. 

“Following the implementation of this new approach we have seen a drastic reduction in injures amongst our students. Back injuries as a result of poor moving and handling techniques are all too common. They can affect people’s lives and cost society millions every year. That is why it is so important that anyone who is going to perform moving and handling tasks is properly trained.”