What are the Benefits of Installing a Ceiling Track Hoist?

Published On: 26th August 2022

10 Minute Read

When making decisions about which patient lifting equipment to invest in for your care facility, there can be so much to consider. As healthcare equipment professionals, we specialise in a full range of patient lifting equipment options. Here at Medaco, we highly encourage the installation and use of ceiling hoists when looking for solutions to your lifting and handling needs because of the benefits they bring.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of choosing to install a ceiling track hoist into your care facility. Whether you are a school wanting to ensure the additional needs of your young people are being met, or a care home wanting to better enable the movement of your service users, a ceiling track hoist is a great option.

Here are some key factors regarding the installation of a ceiling track hoist that will be covered within this blog.

What is a ceiling track hoist?

Ceiling track hoists are an essential patient handling solution that allows for the safe and flexible transfer of service users from one point of the room to another. They can be used to help lift your service user, transfer them from their bed to a bath or chair, and can even offer the option of moving the service user between rooms, or lifting them from the floor if they fall.

A ceiling track hoist is a patient transferring solution that is mounted at a high-level overhead. This is a huge benefit as floor space is left clear and unhindered – not like when having to use a mobile hoist. These hoists are often installed directly into the ceiling, but can also be installed to a load-bearing wall, or even use a surface mounted wall-post on stud walls system, should the ceiling not be suitable to take the load. Your supplier, surveyor or architect can advise and design the most suitable option for your environment.

Medaco offer free surveys and demos to care facilities and schools, looking to install ceiling hoists. Book in a consultation with our specialist team here. 

Ceiling hoists offer great benefits such as an ease of use, enhanced safety compared to a mobile hoist, customisable options, they are space-saving, a positive investment, and they help to preserve the dignity of the service user. We cover this in more detail in the section below.

Tracking Hoist Systems

Ceiling hoists are fitted to an overhead track. The overhead track is the system that creates the path of movement for the user.

There are two main types of tracking systems available when considering an overhead ceiling installation:

1. Straight Track or Single-Rail System

Firstly, there is a straight track or single-rail tracking system. This system is installed on a fixed, straight line-way of movement. A single track system allows customers to move from one point of the room to another point of the room with ease, from a bed to a chair for example. This option can have bends in the tracking to be able to access specific parts of the room.

2. XY Frame or H System

There is also an XY Frame or H system (sometimes known as a room-covering system). This system offers full room coverage across an X and Y axis, which allows for the service user to benefit from the full range of movement across the entire space of the room.


What are the different types of ceiling hoists available?

There are many options for ceiling hoists on the market, suited to the varying needs of the service user and care environment. The four most common options are the portable ceiling hoist, fixed track hoists, gantry hoists, and the bariatric hoists:

Portable Ceiling Hoists 

Portable ceiling hoists are a great option for care facilities that want to have, or already have tracking systems installed throughout their property and need the option to move hoists from room to room, or on a patient-to-patient basis. A portable hoist is a ‘pack away option’ that can be clipped on and off the track, as and when needed.

Fixed Track Hoists

Fixed track hoists are a permanent lifting and moving solution that are affixed to their rail system and are suited for long-term care.

Gantry Hoists

Gantry hoists are semi portable and freestanding overhead hoists that are used in lieu of an installed hoist when a permanent install is not the preferred option.

Bariatric Hoists

Bariatric hoists are hoists that have a greater capacity for weight bearing. Some single bariatric hoists can lift anywhere up to 500 kg. This option is available in either the fixed or gantry versions.

All hoist options and installation systems are customisable which allow them the flexibility to properly aid your user’s mobility and weight bearing requirements.


7 Key Benefits of installing a Ceiling Hoist

There are many benefits to installing a ceiling hoist into your care facility. Here are some highlights to some of the key benefits:

 1. Ease of Use and ‘Single-Handed Care’

Ceiling track hoists are a great fit for care facilities as they are easy to use. Ceiling hoists are installed overhead and operate on a remote, button and tracking system for movement. This system makes the equipment easier to manoeuver and offers a smoother transition of movement during care.

Unlike a mobile hoist, ceiling hoists also provide the added benefit of ‘single-handed care’ as it does not always require two carers to operate safely. Please note that a risk assessment should be carried out to determine if ‘single-handed care’ is suitable for individual service users.

The permanent installation of a ceiling hoist means that they are always available and ready to use for the care staff and service user. Care staff can often find that the waiting times for a mobile hoist to become available, can make it longer to deliver the care needed. Having a permanent solution resolves this issue.

 2. Enhanced safety

Installing an overhead ceiling hoist enhances the safety measures for both the service user and the carer. Unlike a ceiling hoist, a mobile hoist requires two carers, one to focus on the service user, and one to manage the hoist itself. Again, with a ceiling hoist, the equipment can be managed by one carer safely. This ease of use minimises the potential for common manual operation injury for both the carer and service user.

3. Infection Control

Having a ceiling hoist in your care facility also helps to reduce the chances of cross-contamination. As the hoist is a permanent feature of the space or room, and it is typically used for one service user, the risk of passing an infection from one service user to another (via a mobile hoist), is eliminated.

4. Flexibility to Suit Your Needs

The installation of an overhead ceiling hoist system is completely customisable to your care facility and your service user’s needs. The catered and bespoke level of care a ceiling hoist provides, adds great value to your facility and to the level of care you can provide to your service user.

5. No Floor Space Required

As an overhead hoist is installed at a high level, they do not take up any floor space within the room.

The freedom of mobility with the space and environment of the service user is very important in keeping them comfortable and serving them well. Also, with a ceiling hoist, the potential damages to the room and furniture by a mobile hoist during a transfer is eliminated.

6. Whole Life Cost Investment

Installing a ceiling hoist is a good way to invest in hoisting equipment and save on overall costs. With ‘single-handed care’ enabled, you can save on care staff costs. With its ease of use, you can help to prevent work-related harm to staff, like back injuries, which helps to relieve time taken off and remunerations paid.

As a ceiling hoist’s life-span is up to ten years and the service and maintanence can be lighter due to its simplicity of use, along with the fact that they generally suffer less damage than a mobile hoists as they are installed at high level, this can help to reduce your call-out, repair and servicing costs.

Having a ceiling hoist installed and available for your service user will also add direct value to your care home’s accommodations.

7. Preserves Service User Dignity

Ceiling hoists provide a great number of benefits for both your care facility and your service users. Through its ease of use and smooth level of movement, a ceiling hoist most importantly helps to preserve the dignity of your service user. The service user can have their hoisting needs met with simplicity, comfort and safety.

Is my care facility suitable for the installation of an overhead ceiling hoist?

Some care facilities can think their care environment is unsuitable for the installation of an overhead ceiling hoist. Perhaps the ceilings are thought to be too high or incapable of bearing the load required to take a ceiling hoist. However, the suitability of the ceiling itself when considering installation is not the be-all and end-all factor.

Ceiling hoists certainly do require mounting onto a surface that has load bearing abilities. However, when installing onto your ceiling directly is not a possibility, a gantry hoist or a customised installation based on a wall fixing (either solid or stud walls) are great options.

Ceiling Hoist Floor Plan

*Pictured above is a proposed plan for a ceiling hoist into a care facility highlighted in green left hand side is H or XY system, right hand side is a straight rail system.

As part of the installation process, a professional surveyor can assess your facility and advise a suitable option for your environment. It is up to your service and equipment provider to create a safe and reliable solution that meets your hoisting needs.

Here at Medaco, our professional team of experienced surveyors are skilled in specifying systems that are customised to suit your facility’s individual space, and service user’s needs.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your needs or for further guidance.  Click below to book your free survey.

Considerations of costs when installing a ceiling hoist.

The cost of lifting equipment can often be one of the first considerations care facilities make when looking for hoisting solutions for their service users. An eq”ually important consideration is the level of care that can be provided when investing in a ceiling hoist option.

Although ceiling hoists in comparison to mobile hoists can often require a larger upfront investment; their lifespan, ease of use and labour-saving benefits holds their value when considering the whole life cost.

Mobile hoists are also a popular option within the care industry as they offer hoisting solutions for short term service users and can appear to offer competitive pricing. However, due to their operational requirements of two care persons, the space they take within a room and the difficulty that can occur when manoeuvring them over carpet and uneven surfaces, affects the whole life cost in labour and repairs can often be more expensive over their full lifespan.

—When installing a ceiling hoist, you are leveraging the potential to save money on whole life costs which are further covered in the article below—

 ‘6 Factors that Affect the Cost of a Ceiling Hoist Installation’

Here at Medaco, we are installation and ceiling hoist specialists, with a team of engineers who create bespoke options for clients nationally.

If you would like further information or have questions in need of answering, get in touch with Medaco today. Our team of Ceiling Hoist Installation Specialists are happy to help.