Policy Statement

The term bariatric comes from Barros (Greek) meaning large or heavy, but the application of this term is used to include a wider population than the definition of obesity. Individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 30 are classified as obese and greater than 40 as morbidly obese.

More than 8 million people in Britain (25% of the adult population) are classified as clinically obese (i.e. overweight to a degree that causes medical complications). Obesity has grown by almost 400% in the last 25 years and therefore the needs of heavier people and the staff caring for them must be addressed. This organisation recognises that the risk of injury increases with additional weight and therefore will take all reasonable and practical steps to reduce the dangers.

In recognising the requirements of this group of service users, we have equipped some of our rooms with wide access doors, specially constructed beds, specialised chairs, and an overhead hoist. This allows care staff to assist the service user with their daily living tasks, including any mobility problems, safely and with dignity.

The Policy

Before providing services, we will always visit the service user in their home to carry out a risk assessment and create a bariatric handling plan. This details the tasks we will carry out and, with the service user, agree on a safe method. We follow clear policies and best practice methods to make sure we always provide safe and effective care and support. We not only work with the service user but always obtain specialist advice from moving and positioning advisors, occupational health professionals, physiotherapists, and the tissue viability nurse when needed.

It is important to continue to support our service users to have as much control as possible over their daily living tasks. Assessments and care plans are in place with risk assessments, clearly identifying what equipment to use, what procedures to follow, and how the service user can co-operate with each activity. All plans are person-centred and not only meet the service user’s needs but, wherever possible, reflect their preferences.

With the cooperation and consent of the service user and working closely with outside professionals when developing the care plan, we plan towards enabling the service user to lose weight and deal with associated difficulties. These may include:

Difficulty in lying flat due to breathing difficulties.

Breathlessness (may require oxygen).

Very fragile skin, especially on lower extremities.

Anxiety (embarrassment) in being moved. Staff should try to ensure their dignity where possible.


Stress incontinence.

Varicose veins.


High blood pressure.

Type II diabetes.

Stroke or coronary heart disease.

If a person has a large ‘apron’, they may prefer to lie in a three-quarters prone position (not dissimilar to recovery position).

To support our service users with the above, we work with them in the following areas;

Promoting and maintaining all activities of daily living.

Dietary advice, support, and the provision of a well-balanced diet.

Tissue viability care.

Respiratory care.

Lymphoedema care.

Safe moving and handling.

Exercise regimes specific to each individual.

Medical advice from local GP/consultant.

Social stimulation and integration into the community.

Improving feelings of self-worth.

Ensuring the most appropriate bariatric equipment is provided.

Moving and Handling

Managers and supervisors must ensure that:

Bariatric service users’ moving and handling risk assessments are carried out and relevant records kept.

Adequate information, instruction, and training are given to staff who are involved in moving and handling activities.

All necessary equipment is available and used for each service user.

Any accident related to moving and handling is investigated and remedial action is taken, as required.

Employers adhere to safe systems at work.

Staff must ensure that:

They report to management (in confidence) any personal condition that may lead to difficulties in them participating in moving and handling activities.

They comply with all instruction/training and information given for moving and handling activities.

They use the correct equipment for each service user.

They do not put themselves at risk and, before each activity, carry out a personal/visual risk assessment.

Defective equipment must never be used.

Any difficulties or defective equipment is reported immediately to the manager.

Related Policies

Accidents, Incidents and Emergencies Reporting (RIDDOR)

Equality and Diversity

Health and Safety

Dignity and Respect

Moving and Handling

Personal Safety and Lone Working

Related Guidance

Gov.UK Guidance: Health matters: Obesity and the food environment:–2

Training Statement

All staff, during induction, are made aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures, all of which are used for training updates. All policies and procedures are reviewed and amended where necessary, and staff are made aware of any changes. Observations are undertaken to check skills and competencies. Various methods of training are used, including one to one, online, workbook, group meetings, and individual supervisions. External courses are sourced as required.


Alongside the mandatory moving and handling training, specialised bariatric moving and handling will be delivered to all care or support staff. Only staff who have received appropriate training should operate any resident’s hoist or participate in moving and handling procedures.

Date Reviewed: October 2022

Person responsible for updating this policy:

Next Review Date: October 2023

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