PATIENTS and staff at Airedale hospital are set to benefit from a new-age assisted lifting device – thanks to a £20,000 gift from the Friends of Airedale.

The friends group paid for and presented hospital staff with three air inflatable medical mattresses designed to help clinicians safely lift patients weighing up to 500kg from the floor. The multi-layered flat lifting device is easier to use and ‘more dignified’ than a traditional hoist, improving the safety and wellbeing of patients and carers.

The lifting devices, supplied by GBUK Banana, cost the FoA just short of £20,000.

Matt Dickinson, manual handling lead for Airedale, said: “Not only will this equipment be invaluable for helping staff practice moving and handling techniques on patients, it will also help keep them safe. Using these devices reduces stress on their bodies when supporting dependent patients from the floor and also enhances the patient experience when they require assistance in any unfortunate scenarios.”

The just delivered mattresses will be assigned to those areas of the hospital to care for patients deemed most at risk of falling.

Alison Dixon, chair of FoA, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to supply hospital staff with equipment that will help to make a real difference to patients and staff. As a charity we donate between £150,000 to £200,000 worth of equipment and service to the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust each year – but could not do so without the incredible efforts of all our volunteers and fundraisers who work so hard on our behalf.”

Friends of Airedale is a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting Airedale General Hospital by undertaking a number of roles within the hospital and in the community. It also raises money to buy equipment to benefit patients and visitors.