Manual Handling, Single-Handed Care, Occupational Therapy And The Law

October 1st, 2020

Manual Handling, Single-Handed Care, Occupational Therapy And The Law: 2020 And Beyond 

A Discussion Paper By Michael Mandelstam​

Every OT employed within social care will be well versed in working with client's who require assistance with transfers and the importance of ensuring that the right balance of support, whether it's equipment, people, or a combination of both, is in place. 

Over the past couple of years, Inclusion.Me have been involved in a number of proportionate care projects with great success. Our specialist manual handling OTs have been tasked to review the level of care in place for service users receiving double handed packages of care, with the intention of ensuring appropriate resources have been allocated and that the optimal equipment, training and quality of care are all in place. Some of the outcomes of these projects have been unexpected but very welcome, such as a greater sense of reported health, wellbeing and quality of care by service users, whilst others have been more predictable such as increased care provider capacity and cost reductions. 

But what drives the commissioning of these projects in the first place….is it a need to ensure capacity amongst care providers due to dwindling and overstretched resources, a desire to ensure a high quality service is provided at all times, an individuals preference or at the end of the day are we simply led by the never ending need to save money? 

1 theme that consistently stands out during these projects is the importance of an integrated approach involving all stakeholders, with each commiting to the vision and goals for the project. It's essential to create an open culture of honesty and invesment between service users, care providers, commissioning, equipment providers, OTs, etc to ensure that optimal outcomes and real life benefits are achieved for every individual. The aim of simply creating cost savings rarely sits comfortably. 

We also regularly hear from OTs who raise concerns regarding the current need for greater remote working and to reduce the risk of infection in a pandemic, whilst others express a lack of confidence in their ability to make recommendations that may ultimately put their clients and fellow healthcare professionals at risk! Then there’s the question of whether a 1 off project is sufficient and can be trusted to ensure that an OTs initial recommendations are still appropriately implemented a further 3 or 6 months down the line? And lets not forget the carers who are then asked to follow these new recommendations, from an "expert" OT; do they receive sufficient training, support and pay to enable them to implement the guidance they're given, every day, with confidence and ease?

In an attempt to answer some of these questions and create food for thought and conversation within our profession, we felt it sensible to start by summarising the legal considerations and provide some case studies which affect and guide the work we, as OTs, conduct on a daily basis within field of manual handling and who better to ask than Michael Mandelstam:

Manual Handling, Single-Handed Care, Occupational Therapy And The Law: 2020 And Beyond 

A Discussion Paper By Michael Mandelstam​

We hope you find it informative and that this series of articles sparks plenty of discussion!

Matthew Box

Occupational Therapist/Founder of

Inclusion.Me's range of Occupational Therapy Services includes:

  • Moving with dignity assessments
  • Managing Discharge To Assess services
  • Housing and Adaptations assessments (OT Outsourcing services)
  • Moving & Handling assessments using a single handed care approach

To speak to Matthew about Inclusion.Me and how to engage our professional Occupational Therapy services ring us on 01892 320334 or email