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MHRA gives bed rail guidance

4th December 2006

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has released new guidelines about the safe use of bed rails and bed grab handles.

According to the MHRA, adverse incident reports for this widely used equipment are still being received and so the advice for carers, staff and users has been amended.

Changes include the highlighting of potential risks associated with different types of rails, as well as clarification that such appliances can be very useful in protecting patients from falling out of bed and injuring themselves.

"Underpinning all our work lie robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits to patients and the public justify the risks," says the MHRA.

"We keep watch over medicines and devices, and take any necessary action to protect the public promptly if there is a problem."

Bed rails are considered Assistive Technology (AT) by the agency, which is used by more than four million people in the UK as the population ages and the number of older people living independently in their own homes increases.