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Can specialist seating help with hospital discharge times?

As of March 2022 almost 1 in 10 of the UK population were on one NHS waiting list or another. This post covid pandemic challenge is nationwide. NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have a waiting list of over 19000 and an average waiting time of over 9 weeks. Where as NHS Newcastle and Gateshead CCG with a significantly larger local population the waiting list is 50,000 plus with an average expected waiting time of 10 weeks. It is a different challenge the NHS faces compared to the past 2 years. In this period during which the Covid variant is proving more manageable, one of the key challenges for the NHS is to reduce discharge times in order to free up beds and reduce the waiting lists.
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How can specialist seating help?

Specialist seating can contribute. seating designed for purpose will contribute to rehabilitation and in turn earlier discharge. So how is specialist seating used to assist rehabilitation? In the case of muscles strength, mobility and balance issues are associated with recovery from a stroke, brain injury rehabilitation and following hip or knee surgery. Often rehabilitation is required due to the medical condition but, also if a patient has been bedridden during their time in hospital possibly following an operation rehabilitating to a point where strength and mobility are no longer an issue benefits from specialist seating.

As there are a wide range of issues and conditions so there is a wide range of specialist seating available. The key to effective specialist seating is in the design addressing the features required to help with rehabilitation for any number of conditions, illnesses, and injuries. Specific designs to address specific abilities and challenges.

Matching chairs to individual’s needs is requires a detailed level of understanding of the equipment and the condition in question as it effects seating. AT Yorkshire Care Equipment we have a team of experienced assessors available to carry out free seating consultations. They will advise and recommend the most appropriate product based on function and requirement.

Rehabilitation and in turn discharge can be positively influenced by the following specialist seating features.

Focusing on the common rehabilitation scenarios listed above, there are three key features you should consider when choosing a chair.

Why are adjustable care chairs important?

When selecting a chair this is not simply about a specific condition it is also about the individual. A chair no matter how well designed for a particular condition but lacks adjustability is going to be a good fit for a very few patients. Adjustable chairs are not just convenient but also cost effective. They are very beneficial during rehabilitation as adjustments can be made to meet the user’s condition as it improves. This avoids the need for multiple chairs, not just in terms of different chairs for each patient with the same condition but, also as the patient’s rehabilitation progresses, they won’t have to get used to new chairs as their needs are addressed. Our Lento care chair is a great fully adjustable choice.

Adjustable care chairs features:

  • Posture support
  • Pressure relief levels
  • Backrest for varying levels of trunk support.
  • Seat sizing

Lento care chair

How do tilt-In-space care chairs help with rehabilitation?

Tilt-in-space is a regular requirement in specialist seating. A chair with the tilt-in-space feature will tilt backwards while retaining the patient’s knee or hip position. While the user is in the early stages of recovery this adjustment provides benefits well beyond a simple but much appreciated change of perspective during long days seated. Simply put, regular repositioning is important.

Tilt-in-space care chairs support:

  • Redistribution of body weight
  • Avoids pressure ulcers
  • Promotes good breathing
  • Aids communication at a difficult time
  • Assists swallowing

Bedside hospital chairs and rehabilitation

With a range of specialist seating available the priority is in identifying why you require the chair. If it is a bedside chair the ProSpec is the choice. Designed with consultation from hospital trusts this chair has been designed with tissue viability and prevention of pressure sores to the fore. As with all our seating the ProSpec comes with flexible built-in seat height and depth adjustability.

Altering the seat’s back position helps the user to maintain good posture. This opens up the chest and keeps their head up which promotes good breathing and can make communicating, eating and drinking much easier.

A hospital bedside chair provides:

  • Adjustable seating position
  • Good posture
  • Addresses pressure issues
  • Portering

ProSpec Hospital Chair

Rise and recline chairs

As a patient recuperates aiding their sit to stand transfer with a user operated rise and recline chair is a benefit to both comfort and mobility. Reclining back for comfort the riser function helping the user to sit and stand makes for improved rehabilitation and independence. Independence requires careful consideration and discussion with an OT or physiotherapist.

Rise and recline chairs will support:

  • Lower body lack of strength
  • Safe sit to stand
  • Independence and comfort

A patient’s independence – getting back to business as usual

Rehabilitation is about the mental as well as the physical. When using an adjustable chair, the patient can feedback on comfort levels throughout their seating position and direct their carer on the adjustment. Regaining independence is very important in the rehabilitation process. User operated chairs fitted with electric tilt-in-space function puts the users seating position in their own hands. Independence breads a positive attitude to rehabilitation, and in turn a more rapid recovery.

Our range of specialist seating

Our range of specialist seating which includes: the Lento Care Chair, The Lento Bariatric, The Little Lento Paediatric Chair, the Lento Rise and Recline, The Hospital ProSpec and the Hospital ProSpec Rise and Recline have been developed in consultation with NHS trusts to establish those feature that will best aid rehabilitation and reduce discharge times.
To find out more please get in touch with our team:

    Graeme Wilson
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