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Moving & Handling
Acheeva User Quotes February 2012 as part of National The National Star College Video for the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) as part of the DfE’s Green Paper on Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational Needs and disability
“The Acheeva has made a huge difference to people’s lives. We are not educational focussed but we run two day centres providing support for people with severe physical disabilities.
There is no other alternative to encourage people to get out of their chairs and improve posture. For service users this makes a big difference to the activities that people can get involved in. It is also good for the support staff as people are not on the floor with a bean bag or mat. This is good for support staff’s backs.
From the floor the service user is limited in what they can see but the Acheeva allows them to see what is going on around them. This is so much more enjoyable for them and beneficial to posture.
Some users have the Symmetrisleep system at home during the night and then they can continue with postural support during the day. The two go hand in hand. For users with severe curvatures the Acheeva prevents further deterioration. For most users their physical well being is much improved because some people could only tolerate sitting in their chairs for a short period of time and then they would be moved to the floor but now the Acheeva is a good alternative. They can see what is going on around them and get involved in activities.”
Fiona Adams, Charge Nurse, Kilton View/The Orchard Day Service, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust
Provide a range of mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services
“The Acheeva enables greater participation in class based activities for children when positioned in alternative postures to sitting. The versatility of having a height adjustable, manoeuvrable system that enables positioning in prone, supine and side lying is invaluable in caring for a child with disabilities.”
Tanya Gibson, Dame Hannah Rogers School
Education, therapy and respite are for young people aged 2-25 with a range of physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties
“Since the new school opened in September last year we are now using Acheevas. The Moving & Handling implications have been significant with less work done on the floor. Children are no longer on the floor having chest physio and other children climbing all over them. On the Acheeva they are safer and upright. The children can be at peer group level and positioning is good. More physically challenged children can get in the right position, relax and focus on learning as they are comfier.
Easily adjustable to different children and they have a photo of each child’s positioning points front and back which is laminated. The staff don’t have to alter much just brackets and Velcro and it is simple to use. One child has pressure sores and spends a lot of time on her tummy so on the Acheeva she is positioned on her tummy and put up to the table to work.
Hoisting on and off the Acheeva is easily done. One child can now use a banana board to get on and off because the height is adjustable and this encourages more independence. People working with the children do not have to keep kneeling on the floor and can get at the right level. The Acheeva is easy to push and manoeuvrable. The appearance of the beds is very child friendly.”
Jane Field, Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist, Barnsley Paediatric Therapy Team, Greenacre School
130 pupil special school
“One of the most important things for us in using the Acheeva is that it has helped a valued member of staff with a knee injury continue to support a pupil. Without the Acheeva this would not have been possible.”
Within the classroom setting the staff said “The Acheeva bed has meant a lot less unnecessary moving and handling for particular pupils, which means they have more time to get involved in curricular activities. The Acheeva bed is very easy to handle and manoeuvre which has also made it easier for pupils to be comfortably positioned and at the same time join in with class activities. For a particular pupil who enjoyed lying out, but was never comfortable the Acheeva bed has meant that he is both comfortable and if requiring repositioned it is much easier for staff to do so. If we were to be without the Acheeva bed, we would seriously miss it!”
Anne Cockburn, Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School
333+ place primary school with a Nursery,
The Hub (East Lothian’s provision for pupils with severe complex needs) and 12 classes from reception through to year 11
“From my point of view it is the flexibility of the Acheeva which is its strength as it can be used in a number of ways. Positioning and education occur at the same time and some activities are accessed more effectively from the Acheeva.
It’s easy to take children into the hygiene rooms because there is no hoisting from chairs. This improves the educational experience for the children as less time is spent out of the classroom. In the past much physio took place on mats on the floor. Now the Acheeva makes the experience better and safer for pupils and staff. I like the Acheeva as it has style. It is bright and vibrant and up-to-date.
On the Acheeva non-ambulant children can join their peers in the school hall for PE. They can receive physio but also be involved in group sessions during the lesson. It is so easy to move children around the school and if the sun comes out to take the children outside on the Acheeva for a short time. It’s important to get them out in the fresh air and sunlight is good for bone health which is essential for our children.
The Acheeva captures people’s imagination particularly when fund raising. People see immediately that they are raising funds for something that looks modern and comfortable, so unlike some other special needs equipment. Recently a golf club and a Masonic lodge raised funds to buy two Acheeva Graduates. One lady is raising funds for the support packs by knitting chicken covers for cream eggs. She has a photograph of the Acheeva that she takes around with her to encourage people to buy the covers and she is getting an excellent response. She has already raised over £600.”
Simon Harmer, St Francis Special School
Fully inclusive school for children aged between 2.5 and 19 with SLD or PMLD
“We use the Acheeva for 24-hour postural care where some people have to be positioned in the classroom. Some people have to be positioned after surgery and need to be in a supine position. One child is waiting for surgery and is uncomfortable in a wheelchair so the Acheeva provides the right support. With the children who are positioned they can be taken right up to a Smartboard in the classroom so they are fully involved. Overall the Acheeva maintains good posture in a lying position.”
Jill Dommett, Paediatric & Learning Disability Physiotherapy Clinical Lead, Mayfield
All age school for pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties
The Acheeva Learning Station is used at our college by the Physio staff to help provide safe and comfortable learning for suitable learners. We use it to provide an alternative posture to learners who are also essential wheelchair users and who need to have a change of position in order to reduce pain, increase comfort , raise levels of alertness , improve postural alignment, provide a soft tissue stretch, reduce tone, reduce fatigue and may also increase body fluid drainage and flow. We anticipate using it to provide postural drainage when the need occurs for respiratory care.
The Acheeva is used both in physiotherapy within a treatment session and in the classroom environment during a taught session. Once the learners have agreed to the intervention, or after a best interest decision is made, they are set up in the system by the physiotherapy team and monitored by Physio or education staff.
This piece of equipment adds another dimension to physiotherapy techniques allowing us to provide alternative ways of applying the knowledge of the learner and their needs, with treatments and interventions whilst the learner is doing something else. This style of ‘surreptitious physio’ is a particularly good tool to use with clients with multiple and complex needs.
Paula Manning, Physiotherapy Manager, Portland College, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
National college for people with a wide range of disabilities providing education and vocational training for up to 300 students
I was with an Acheeva client and the teacher made the following comments. Lauren’s absence of school has been non existent since reviewing the Acheeva for both home and school. Her wheelchair tolerance has doubled during school hours We see more smiles from Lauren as she participates in class
George Ajaka, Rehabilitation Equipment Consultant/Occupational Therapist, GTK Rehab, Australia
Suppliers of wheelchairs, beds, walking aids, hoists and all equipment for people with disabilities and the aged
“The way we use Acheeva’s is when children have had operations and they need respite from being in a wheelchair before they start to stand up again or as a means of positioning. The Acheeva is also used for whatever reason when children are unable to stand. It’s a good way of changing a child’s position from being in a wheelchair.
The staff are aware that children should not be in a wheelchair all day because of the increased risk of pressure sores. Respite from a wheelchair means that the child is relaxed and in the right position on the Acheeva. We need to keep them off their bottoms as much as possible to avoid pressure areas.
The Acheeva is particularly good for some children who have respiratory problems and it is not appropriate to put them on mats. On the Acheeva they can sit upright. We have class based Acheeva’s and try and get as many into the classrooms as possible. ”
Meg Ingleson, Stanton Vale Special School
88 pupils aged 2-19 years who have severe and PLD , sensory and physical impairments
“Pupils fight to get on the Acheeva. It makes a difference to the learning experience because the pupils can be involved. For one pupil with a new moulded chair it is only possible to sit in it for 1 hour at a time. Although the pupil is not mobile by listening and seeing things the pupil can be included. From a teaching assistant’s point of view the Acheeva is easy to manage and fits through a standard doorway which means it is really easy to get in and out of the building. The mattress is very good because it can be adjusted for each individual.”
Sue Pullen, Moving & Handling Co-ordinator, Frederick Holmes School
85 students and pupils aged between 2 and 19