Trust staff play key role in study day about larger patients

Staff from the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust played a leading role in an education event for healthcare professionals aimed at enhancing their skills and knowledge of dealing with larger patients.

The Bariatric Study Day took place at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and was organised by moving and handling specialists from the South West Joint Agency Group (JAG).

With hospital admissions for bariatric (plus-size) people increasing nationally, the group was keen to explore the larger patient’s journey in a holistic way.


Some of the attendees at the Bariatric Study Day.

The event was attended by more than 80 staff from acute and community Trusts across the South West, including Northern Devon.

JAG chairman Lesley Wonnacott, back care advisor for the Trust, led the event and gave a presentation about a mortician’s experience of dealing with bariatric patients.

Other Trust staff who gave presentations included Jo Wayborn on occupational therapy and Tracey Morrish and Georgie Forbes on community nursing.

Subjects covered by other specialist speakers included nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, tissue viability and the ambulance service.

A series of practical workshops introduced staff to various forms of equipment designed to assist them when dealing with the complexities of caring for and handling bariatric patients.

Lesley said: “Delegates had the opportunity for hands-on experience to enhance their knowledge and skills when caring for the bariatric patient, and even had a chance to wear a body suit to experience the limited mobility some patients experience as a larger person.

“Several staff from the Trust attended and went home armed with information and ideas to not only enhance their practice but also to ensure the patient’s experience was planned, prepared and the best it could be.”


The Trust’s back care team, who assisted with the event, are (from left) Sandy Gough, Vanessa Markwick, Kelly Saunders and Lesley Wonnacott.

More information

  • The core aims of JAG are working together and sharing practice to provide quality care, support and advice for the workforce, service users and carers to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury associated with moving and handling.
  • The group promotes the highest level of patient safety and wellbeing in compliance with legislation and other standards for health and social care, working within the framework of National Back Exchange Guidelines.
  • Group members include staff from the Trust, Derriford Hospital, Devon County Council, community hospitals, the community and from the education sector.
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Last updated: March 6, 2018