Ambulance service completes rollout of specialist patient transport chairs

Significant benefits in patient handling since introduction of Compact 2 Track from Ferno

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has seen significant benefits in patient handling since it took delivery of more than 160 specialist patient transport chairs from Ferno.

Over the last six months the trust has been phasing in the Compact 2 Track equipment – a carry and tracked chair in one - which enhances patient security and reduces the burden of manual handling for users.

Compact 2 Track

The organisatiohn provides emergency and urgent care, patient transport services and out-of-hours services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire and the former Avon.

It employs more than 4,000 staff across 120 operational sites, including 96 ambulance stations and six air bases and serves a resident population of more than 5.3 million people.

The chairs have an attachable track for moving patients downstairs, meaning paramedics no longer need to have two different chairs, helping to reduce equipment costs and the overall weight of their vehicle, while increasing storage space. Lower gross vehicle weight contributes to saving fuel costs.

The track feature enables patients to be transported downstairs safely, eliminating the risk of manual handling injuries to the user. In addition, the chair’s height-adjustable rear handle has been designed with users’ health and safety in mind, reducing stooping and improving posture and ease of moving the chair up and down vehicle ramps.

Ferno managing director, Jon Ellis, said: “The new Compact 2 Track chair has proved popular with medical and emergency professionals and the feedback has been very positive with regards to its ergonomic attributes.”

Adrian South, deputy clinical director at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The response from frontline staff who have deployed the Compact 2 Track has been very positive and they report that it is much easier to use than previous chairs. They also tell us that they feel safer when deploying Ferno’s equipment as they always have concerns about strains and sprains when handling larger patients.

“At the trust we have a duty of care to ensure that all our colleagues work in as risk free an environment as possible given the situations they are dealing with and the new chairs mitigate against many of the possible injuries they might be prone to.”

Meanwhile, patients also benefit from improved comfort. A footbar on the Compact 2 Track allows patients to sit in a comfortable position during transfer and the one-piece seat and back panel provides support to the lower back. Made in wipe-clean, vinyl-coated, flame-retardant nylon, including anti-bacterial properties, the panel may be removed for cleaning or replacement.

Standard features include:

  • Height-adjustable rear handle to accommodate operators of different stature
  • Reduces stooping, thereby reducing risk of manual handling injuries
  • Improves transportation over rough ground
  • Improves posture and ease of moving chair up and down vehicle ramps
  • Simple attachment of track – transforms chair into a tracked chair for downstairs transfers
  • Attachable track – minimises weight of equipment that needs to be carried
  • Single chair fulfilling multiple uses, no longer require a carry chair and track chair

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