The update to the MHRA bed rail regulations in 2013 is a topic of conversation that has been well covered in the healthcare sector in recent years. So, I’m not going to waste your time with that right now! The impact of those regulations affect us every day because they are important and, in many instances, quite literally a matter of life and death. But, in all seriousness, do we really need extension side rails?
The answer to this question depends on whom you talk to. It’s a fact that full replacement alternating pressure mattresses don’t comply with bed rail regulations when fitted onto most profiling beds (link ‘profiling beds’ to https://alpinehc.co.uk/beds-and-overbed-tables/beds/profiling) in the marketplace.
Common sense has been failing to prevail as manufacturers have been prescribing makeshift bolted on extension side rails for inadequate beds. A lack of innovation in the care equipment marketplace has resulted in temporary fixes to what is, in all likelihood, going to be a long-term issue.
As a manufacturer, Alpine HC has taken a step back from this issue and asked, ‘why do we even need extension side rails?’ Dave Maude from Alpine HC said:
It seemed to the product designers as counter-productive to add additional equipment to the beds, which in itself requires regular risk assessments and safety checks. Surely the whole point of integral side rails is to: reduce risk; increase accessibility; and maximise ease of use?
Alpine HC kept this in mind when developing the Opera® bed range, and the new Opera® bed can now take up to a 10” mattress without the need for extension side rails. See the video below.