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Learn about assisted transfer

We call any lifting of a person an assisted transfer. Whether it is by use of a manual patient stander or by an electronic fitted or portable hoist.

Moving or carrying a person by yourself or others is dangerous and can risk causing injury to the person being lifted or the person or person lifting. To carry out this procedure, we recommend some sort of electronic, mechanical hoist or transfer device. There are many choices of models and types of lifting equipment for assisted transfer.

We have listed below some images and descriptions, so that you can see their main differences and uses, along with advantages and disadvantages.

Mobile or portable hoists

These are small, mobile devices that can be used to lift someone from a chair to a bed, from a bed to a commode. All mobile hoists for disabled people have been developed especially for the domestic care environment, and with the patient in mind. However, they can be an issue for carers and loved ones as they require the ability to push and manoeuvre by the operator. They have the following advantages and disadvantages…


Portable, normally folds down to take up less space when not being used. Can be folded and placed into the boot of a car.


Requires flat, level floors. Difficult to manoeuvre on carpets requires effort to move and position correctly. It is difficult to lift from normal domestic beds and seating without enough gap to allow the legs of the hoist to pass underneath. Requires charging/plugging in, limited lift height capacity. The wheels need to be locked and unlocked during the assisted transfer process.

Ceiling track hoists

A ceiling track hoist is normally fitted directly onto a ceiling above the area where it is required. If a ceiling is not able to support the weight of the user, then the weight can be transferred down the walls into the floor by using special support legs, fitted flat against the walls. The system comprises the rail and the cassette (the hoist itself). Ceiling track hoists are generally wired into the mains supply and are constantly charged.

Room to room: We can also install a ceiling track hoist that covers multiple rooms, by clever use of junction plates and track selectors. Some hoists can also be linked to separate tracks which can be used with transfer straps, which allow track switching.

A ceiling track hoist can be removed quickly and all that is left are a few mounting holes that can be easily filled and painted over.


Can be used to lift higher than a portable hoist, no need to remember to plug in after use. Easy to manoeuvre and position, the need for a level or un-carpeted floor is removed. Requires little or no effort by the carer and there is no need to lock and unlock wheels – as there aren’t any. Generally, a smoother quicker lift than a mobile hoist.


You need to decide up-front what areas of the property you will require this for. Although they are modular and can be re-purposed or modified by using different track configurations if required.

Gantry hoists

A gantry hoist is a ceiling track hoist. The only difference is that the cassette (hoist unit) is mounted on a portable frame with legs rather than fixed to a ceiling.

Gantries are ideal if you only need the system for a short period of time. Sometimes we fit a gantry system as a temporary measure before we fit a ceiling track hoist, or for clients that do not want any holes drilled into their ceiling or walls.


If a property is unable to have a ceiling track hoist fitted. Gantries normally have adjustable height and can be adjusted to different lengths as required. We also supply bariatric versions that can cater for clients up to 500kg.


Gantry hoists require a frame that has legs. These legs can sometimes get in the way, especially in a small room.

Standing hoist or patient lifter

A standing hoist is used when a person has difficulty standing but is still able to with some assistance. These are good for transferring from bed to chair or similar activities. Similar to a portable hoist but is not intended to be a complete full-body lift.


Good for quick transfers that involve sitting to stand and back again. Also good for transporting people in the sitting position.


Requires flat, level floors can be difficult to manoeuvre on carpets. Requires effort to move and position correctly. Difficult to lift from normal domestic beds and seating as the legs need to pass under the furniture. Can put pressure on the lower legs causing pain, not normally suitable for people with limited joint movement.

Here’s why

  • A mobile hoist used by two carers to support a person with bed transfers to a commode four times a day may cost £700 for the hoist and £35.00 per call (x 4 calls a day), at a daily cost of £140 a day.
  • Plus, if one carer is running late, the call gets delayed, and during times when a resource is stretched – like over Christmas for example – the requirement for two carers makes things a lot more challenging.
  • On the flip side, a ceiling track hoist may cost £3,000 upfront, but if it means that one carer can do the same job that would take two without the assisted transfer hoist, it’d take just 42 days for the cost of the hoist to be covered, releasing the second carer to help someone else.

Our goal is to help you stay active in your own home for longer.

If you are suffering from mobility issues and require help conducting some day-to-day tasks, we are here to offer it.

  • Help and guidance.
  • Free surveys and assessments without any obligation.
  • Installation of larger items like fitted hoists and stairlifts to enable you to move to other floors/levels of your home and take the strain of moving/conducting transfers.
  • Smaller aides that can enable you to bathe, shower and toilet easier, and in safety.
  • We offer a complete turn key service from initial survey to completed project.

We offer a wide range of products that can help transport people.

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