Clearer Choice on Buying Slide Sheets following Customer Feedback

16 September 2021

NHS trusts can now benefit from a clearer choice of slide sheets for patients available through NHS Supply Chain, thanks to a project aimed at understanding customers’ needs.

Slide sheets consist of two layers of friction reducing fabric which enable the movement of patients up and down a surface such as a bed or transferring patients from one surface to another, for example from a trolley to a bed. This reduces the risk of shearing to patients’ skin and also reduces the associated risks of moving and handling for those providing patient care.

Following engagement with almost 300 stakeholders nationally to develop specifications for the Pressure Area Care and Patient Handling framework, it was discovered that a wide variety of slide sheets are being used across the country, including some that trusts have asked suppliers to develop for them specific to their own sizing requirements.

When developing the new framework we spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including Acute NHS Trusts, manual handling advisors, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, academic institutions and the National Back Exchange. When talking about slide sheets, we found that such a wide variety of sheets is presenting a challenge for trusts to identify and search for the comparable products for their needs. To resolve this, we have agreed a baseline size range of slide sheets to provide clarity to customers, which has been aligned to the previous clinical investigation into slide sheets by Department of Health and Social Care.

Claire Moses, a Clinical Engagement and Implementation Manager with NHS Supply Chain: Rehabilitation, Disabled Services, Women’s Health and Associated Consumables

The baseline sizes are as follows:

Baseline slide sheet sizes with a tolerance of plus or minus 15%
Small – 100cm x 100cm
Medium – 150cm x 100cm
Large – 200cm x 100cm
X-Large – 220cm x 140cm

In addition to the revised slide sheet sizes, NHS Supply Chain has also expanded the range available on the new framework to include insitu slide sheets. There is also a National Pricing Matrix (NPM) which will allow savings opportunities for customers who are able to consolidate their purchasing. If you are interested in making savings via the NPM, please speak to your Customer Relationship Manager via our Useful Links.

Now that the new Pressure Area Care and Patient Handling framework (accessible via our Useful Links), which includes Beds and Associated Products Rental and Decontamination is live, NHS Supply Chain will continue its work with stakeholders to ensure that the range available meets the needs of staff using slide sheets.

If you use slide sheets in your NHS trust and are interested in getting involved in this project please get in contact with Claire Moses.