Improving the experience of bariatric patients at Canterbury Hospital

Posted on Tuesday, 11 October 2022

A $10,000 donation was made to Canterbury Hospital to increase the amount of patient handling equipment available for bariatric patients.

Bariatric patients are defined as someone over 120kgs and has a body mass index above 35. Due to their larger body mass, patients with bariatric needs admitted to hospitals require more detailed planning during their treatment, extra staff to help move them around and specialised equipment reinforced to assist with the extra load.

Canterbury’s donation went towards the purchase of a Bariatric High Back Chair and a HoverJack, a mattress-shaped device consisting of four chambers that are inflated sequentially to comfortably lift patients without the need for extra staff.

“Often, patients with bariatric needs delay going to hospitals until their medical condition is urgent. This may be due to perceived discrimination or embarrassment about their size,” said Sue Baker, Community Participation and Volunteer Manager at Canterbury Hospital.

The availability of more specialised equipment ensures that bariatric patients can feel more comfortable and have an overall positive hospital experience. It also minimises the risk of manual-handling injuries to staff and ensures a safe working environment for the healthcare team.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of overweight and obese patients which coincides with an increase in the rate of obesity in Australia. Having appropriate and high-quality bariatric equipment is essential for providing the best care to our bariatric patients and benefits both the staff and the patient,” said Sue.

“Obesity is a complex condition affecting around a third of all Australians. It is important to raise awareness on a variety of treatment plans to provide the best care to patients. At Canterbury, we are all about community and this donation to the hospital ensures that both staff and patient are comfortable and can operate safely in their day-to day routine,” said Peter Winchester, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.