How Often Should Patient Lifting Slings Be Inspected?

Hi, Lee Atterbury again here,  your Servicing Co-ordinator here at Hcsuk.

I’ve written another article regarding equipment servicing and compliance, which I hope will be valuable to you.

Many people are aware that moving and handling equipment has to be serviced and maintained, and that any lifting equipment must adhere to LOLER regulations, ( Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) but what about accessories for lifting, such as slings?

LOLER is a set of regulations applying to all lifting equipment and lifting operations in the workplace – regardless if it is patient lifting equipment or not, and patient lifting slings must also adhere to these regulations, as they play an integral role in the patient lifting process.

There are two important definitions to consider when thinking about LOLER compliance, in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

  • Lifting equipment – means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads.
  • Accessory for lifting – means lifting equipment for attaching loads to machinery for lifting

You can download our latest free guide to Essential Best Practice and Industry Requirements for the servicing and maintenance of your care equipment here for more information on your responsibilities under LOLER regulations here.
industry-requirements-guideThe HSE goes on to state that ‘Accessories for lifting must be thoroughly examined either at least every six months or in accordance with an examination scheme’, and that ‘you must ensure lifting equipment (including lifting accessories) exposed to conditions causing deterioration which could lead to dangerous situations undergoes regular thorough examination by a competent person’.

Our Field Service Engineer Phil regularly inspects patient lifting slings on a six-monthly basis and incorporates these inspections as he services & LOLER tests lifting equipment at your premises. Providing you with LOLER certification for your equipment and lifting slings simultaneously, you can rest assured we are keeping your family members safe and your care equipment legally compliant.

Phil thoroughly inspects each sling in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Full legibility of manufacturers name, washing instructions, safe working load and serial number
  • Stitching Breakdown
  • Tape Fraying & Wear
  • Fabric Thinning
  • Fabric Stress
  • Fabric Fading
  • Soiling

Phil will then issue you with a full and detailed inspection report for your records, providing each sling has passed inspection.

There are common reasons why slings routinely fail their inspections, and Phil has written a helpful article below, with more detail and his tips on how to extend the life of your slings.

Also, we know that slings failing due to faded labelling can be a real frustration for care providers, if this has ever happened to you, you might also find the following blog helpful:

Here’s a quick recap of LOLER and exactly what is covered by these regulations.

What Is LOLER? (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations)

  • LOLER is a set of regulations applying to all lifting equipment and lifting operations in the workplace – regardless if it is patient lifting equipment or not
  • LOLER is administered by the Health and Safety Executive
  • LOLER came into force in the UK in 1998 and revised in 2014

Who Does LOLER Affect?

As a care provider, you are legally obliged to comply with LOLER regulations.

As a service provider, our engineers have a responsibility for ensuring equipment is safe to use for a minimum of 6 months.

Typical equipment covered by LOLER:

  • Lifting Hoists (Mobile)
  • Lifting Hoists (Fixed / Ceiling)
  • Stand Assists
  • Bath Hoists / Bath Lifts
  • Patient Slings
  • Lifting Platforms

Our engineer Phil works in a safe, courteous, and conscientious manner at all times, and prides himself on the level of service and inspection he provides, with the safety and comfort of your family member at the forefront of his mind at all times.


But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what one of our happy customers had to say about Phil:

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with HCSUK over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment.  We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician/engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.” Peter B (Care Manager)

If you have any questions regarding patient sling inspections, or would like us to inspect your slings for you, in addition to any patient lifting equipment you have, please call us today on 01773 713713 or email us at

We’d love to hear from you.

For more information on how we could help you with a full servicing and maintenance package for your care home, you can download our free servicing guide: Creating Safer Environments in Care Homes here



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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistently good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

Thanks to Jo for going over and above to get us our items in time for our special event at Buddleia House – it was very much appreciated. A massive thankyou for your continued assistance as a supplier to ourselves.

Buddleia House

We have always received excellent services from everyone at HCS at our 2 care homes, especially Lee, Jo and Phil. Always professional with a quick response time. Nothing ever seems too much trouble. Recently I had to use them personally for equipment to enable my mothers discharge from hospital. I had a response within the hour for prices and delivery came straight from the manufacturer to speed up delivery. Phil arrived at the same time to put the equipment together for us! I can’t thank them enough for putting our minds at ease and for the continued support from a personal and professional perspective. I’d recommend them to anyone requiring care equipment and its nice to support local businesses. Especially when they do such a good job!!

Orla House

I contacted HCSUK trying to find a hoist that could be operated unaided by the client. I had become very disheartened, no-one was really helpful until I spoke to Donna at HCSUK.

Donna was incredibly understanding, her professionalism raised my spirits again. Everything Donna said she would do she did, including arranging for me to speak to Andrew the salesman who like Donna was incredibly helpful, happy to bring two machines to demonstrate.

I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are good people.

Penelope C

I spoke to Lee Atterbury 2 weeks ago, when I was despairing about the prospect of finding any equipment to help my husband in the bathroom. I had tried all the popular brands, but none were right for his needs.

When I spoke to Lee he understood what I was saying and set about trying to find what we need. He was so patient and understanding and gave me the confidence to explore outside the box.

I spoke to Lee today and was able to tell him that we, hopefully, have found the solution. I am sorry that it was not a product you sell, though you may in the future, but will certainly look first to HCS for other products.

Thank you so much to Lee for first class customer service.

Christine G, Sheffield

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.


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