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Safe use of bed rails in care homes

carer holding an older persons hand

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has re-published guidance on the correct and safe use of bed rails in residential and nursing care homes.

Bed rails are often also know as side rails, cotsides and safety sides.  Bed rails are used to prevent bed occupants from falling out of bed and injuring themselves.  They are not designed or intended to to prevent people from leaving their beds.

a set of bed rails on a bed in a care home

a set of bed rails

This guidance, on the safe use of bed rails in care homes published in December 2013, is really helpful in explaining the different types of bed rails available to care homes, the common mistakes often made when fitting them and a very clear message regarding the dangers of ill fitting or inappropriately placed bed rails.

The guidance also includes a helpful section on risk assessment and has a checklist that can be copied and used as a template in your care home.  There are also useful photographs and diagrams which help to explain and clarify the safety concerns often referred to.

Any care home providers or managers using bed rails who have not seen this guidance should access it and inform themselves of its contents and make sure that their staff are following the guidelines to help prevent any future avoidable injuries or fatalities.

Click here for a link to the guidance.




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