Hoists are used to lift patients from one location to another - usually from a bed to a chair or wheelchair and vice versa. A patient hoist can also be used for helping with bathing. Care homes and hospitals frequently have a number of different hoists and slings available for use by their patients.
There are several different manufacturers of hoists and slings in the UK, very many of them market via the internet. It's a good idea to look around at the different types of hoist before making a purchase - there's a wide range of valuable guides available, also speak to a couple of different suppliers to ensure that you are making the correct decision about the type of hoist required. When researching patient transfer aids such as hoists and slings, it's always best to get professional advice from your GP or occupational therapist in order to find the hoist or sling which will be most suited to the user.
One of the largest, and most popular, manufacturer of hoists is a company called Oxford, which is part of the Joerns group of companies. Several hoist manufacturers, including Oxford, use a network of authorised resellers of their products who have been selected to provide information about the range of hoists and slings available.
When looking at different hoist companies do consider the level of service back up you will get from them once you have purchased too as hoists are mechanical objects and therefore can occasionally require maintenance and servicing.
Slings are the objects which physically hold the person being transferred by the hoist and are made in different fabrics to provide the correct level of support and comfort to the patient. Slings are often sold for specific hoists so, again, do ensure that you do your homework, or speak to your supplier to make sure that the chosen sling is compatible with the hoist being used.