Should I get my Profiling Bed Serviced?

Published On: 8th April 2022

12 Minute Read

Care facilities use profiling beds every day. However, when we speak to care operators about the service and maintenance of their profiling beds, some don’t understand if they should have their beds serviced or not. So we thought we’d write this article to cover everything you need to know about profiling bed service and maintenance. This way, you can ensure you’re operating a safe environment for both care staff and service users.

We also cover the following in this article to help you get a full understanding of profiling beds:

  1. What is a profiling bed?
  2. Why should I get my profiling bed serviced?
  3. What is involved in a profile bed service and maintenance procedure?
  4. How often should a profiling bed be serviced?
  5. How do you maintain a profiling bed?

Use the links above to jump straight to the section of this article that is most useful to you.

What is a Profiling Bed?

Profiling beds contribute to the quality of life, comfort and even recovery of service users, as well as reducing the risks associated with manual handling related injuries to care staff.

Profiling beds comprise different sections which move independently of each other to reposition service users by motor-driven turning and tilting. They support key areas such as the head, neck, back, hips and knees. Care and nursing homes, hospitals and hospices commonly use them to move and transfer service users, as well as reduce pressure sores when used with pressure care mattresses.

Electric profiling beds use a handset to operate several different functions, including:

  • Height Adjustability – Facilitating easier transfers for service users getting in and out of bed, as well as aiding care staff to work at a suitable height, reducing the risk of manual handling injuries. There are also low profiling beds or floor beds which reduce the risk of serious injury for those prone to falling out of bed.
  • Trendelenburg (head-down position) for clinical procedures
  • Reverse Trendelenburg (foot down position) which places the body on an incline. Profiling the user to maintain a socially interactive and comfortable position in the bed whilst also alleviating pressure build-up.
  • Knee Brake Adjustments – Prevents the service user from sliding down the bed, provides postural support and improves circulation to the lower legs.
  • Adjustable Backrest with Auto-regression – This allows you to sit up in bed to interact more comfortably and moves the backrest so the mattress doesn’t slide down the bed.

Why Should I get my Profiling Bed Serviced?

Profiling beds are crucial pieces of equipment in care environments. Care providers should regularly service and maintain their beds to ensure they are in peak condition and always working. There are several reasons you should get your profiling bed serviced, which we have highlighted below.

1. Adheres to Compliance

Two pieces of legislation govern profiling beds:

Profiling beds are subject to inspection and maintenance as laid out by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the UK Medical Devices Regulations 2002.

Both state that equipment provided for use at work must be “safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected regularly to ensure someone correctly installed it and it does not subsequently deteriorate”.

PUWER classes profile beds as ‘work equipment’, especially in care environments such as care homes, hospitals and hospices because workers use them while at work.

The PUWER Regulations require you to ensure that your equipment is:

  • Suitable for use, and for the purpose and conditions in which it is to be used;
  • Maintained in a safe condition for use so that the health and safety of others are not at risk; and
  • Inspected, in certain circumstances, to ensure that it is and continues to be safe for use.

Learn more about the PUWER Regulations here

See how PUWER is different to the LOLER regulations here

2. Makes you Less Vulnerable to the Risk of Entrapment Incidents From Bed Rails

The health care sector uses bed safety rails extensively to protect vulnerable people from the risk of falling out of bed. However, if not used and maintained correctly, they also come with risks of entrapment, causing serious injury and even death.

The MHRA states in their government guidance that inadequate maintenance has caused some incidents with bed rails. So care facilities should include them in their PPM schedules.

By having your profiling beds serviced regularly, by qualified engineers who have experience and knowledge, you can ensure your profiling bed and bed rail set-up complies with the BS EN Dimensional requirements (BS EN 60601-2-52:2010).

To reduce risks of injury in between service visits, staff must understand how to carry out risk assessments for the safe use of bed rails and training on how to fit them and adjust them correctly.

For more information, check out the Health and Safety Executive article on the Safe Use of Bed Rails.


3. Reduce the Number of Emergency Breakdowns

Care staff commonly use profiling beds in the morning and evening when transferring users in and out of bed. Unfortunately, this is the most common time they break down. Not only will this cause distress for your service user, but it can also put them and your care staff at risk.

Having your profiling beds serviced regularly will keep your equipment in top condition throughout its lifespan and reduce the chances of it breaking down at critical moments of transfer. During a service inspection, engineers can find minor defects ahead of time, before they escalate to bigger problems if left unfixed.

For example, they will check the condition of the cables and wires for the control box and handset to make sure they aren’t likely to fail. This is a common problem for profiling beds because the cables come loose under the bed and mobile hoist legs can snag them. If this compromised the integrity of the cable, then engineers will recommend a replacement. This proactive maintenance will avoid it breaking when in use and avoid the need for a reactive emergency call out.


4. Reduce Costs of Emergency Call Outs

Do you know how much you spend on reactive call outs for profiling beds each year?

Different service and maintenance contracts have varying levels of cover for same-day and out-of-hours call-outs. This is one of the factors that influence how much you spend on emergency call-outs each year.

As mentioned above, your care staff usually use profiling beds in the morning and at night, which is when they are likely to break. Care environments rarely have spare profiling beds to use, so the bed becomes unusable until an engineer can fix it, which means they need an engineer to visit as soon as possible. This can end up costing your care facility a lot of money in emergency call outs.

You can reduce the amount you spend on emergency call-outs by having your profiling beds proactively serviced and maintained by your maintenance provider. This will also reduce equipment downtime.

5. Increase the Lifespan of Profiling Beds

Profiling beds will have different lifespans depending on the manufacturer. However, with all profiling beds, if you proactively service and maintain them, they will last longer.

Typically, a profiling bed will last around 3–5 years depending on the environment that care staff use them in and how they use them. You could increase the lifespan of your profiling bed to 7–10 years if you look after it well. You can do this by having it serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and replacing parts that could deteriorate and break.

What is Involved in a Profile Bed Service and Maintenance Procedure?

Each profiling bed should be serviced and maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations as set out in their user manual.

Below provides general guidance on some of the common checks and proactive maintenance that could be included:

  • Check the general condition of the bed
  • Check the condition of the frame and all pivot points, including the head and footboard
  • Lubricate pivot points where necessary
  • Check for faults in mechanical components such as the control box and actuators
  • Check that wires and cables are free from damage and securely fixed out of harm’s way
  • Functionality test on the handset and check for faulty wiring
  • Operate all the moving and adjustment functions
  • Inspect the castors and check brake function works correctly
  • Check the bed rail measurements comply with bed rail regulations
  • Simulate a load test

How Often Should a Profiling Bed be Serviced?

It is recommended that your profiling beds are serviced by a qualified engineer at least every 12 months. Safety-critical parts which could cause the equipment to fail, leading to immediate risk, should have a formal system of planned preventative maintenance to ensure they function correctly.

A manufacturer’s manual, which states the recommended maintenance procedures which need to take place, accompanies all profiling beds which care staff should familiarise themselves with.


How do you Maintain a Profiling Bed?

Given how much profiling beds are used in care settings, an annual service and maintenance inspection aren’t enough to keep them in good condition. Staff need to carry out simple maintenance tasks regularly, to help prolong the life of the equipment.

As you can see, servicing profiling beds is crucial for any care operator. It ensures you comply with regulations, reduces the risk of serious injury, reduces the number and cost of call-outs as well as increases the lifespan of your equipment.

By choosing a service and maintenance provider such as Medaco, you will also benefit from full asset management and condition reporting of your profiling beds, so you have full visibility over your assets. Medaco also offers lifecycle replacement programmes, as standard, so you can forecast and budget for the provision of new equipment before it fails.

If you are looking for a service and maintenance provider, contact us today.

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2023-01-31T12:17:02+00:008th April 2022|News & Insights|