Case study: Safety and video recording

Provided by Gemma Marshall, Senior Community Reablement Occupational Therapist, Adult Social Care, Reading Borough Council


Lady with MS - fatiguing at night and reportedly struggling with mini-lift at this time only. Client, husband and carers all denied any difficulty. Daughter reported Mum was struggling at night time but the OT assessment was initially completed during the day when presentation differed. As the responsible OT, I requested a video care call so that and observational assessment could be completed at this time of day.


The client’s husband took a video of carers completing transfers at night time and sent it to my work phone via WhatsApp (completed with client and carers’ consent). Many issues were observed when the footage was received. These included:

  • unsafe chair transfers in the evening;
  • inappropriate postural support in the evening;
  • inappropriate stair lift and unsafe stair lift transfers;
  • poor manual handling techniques used including incorrect use of PPE, poor foot positioning, inappropriate use of equipment (moving mini-lift over carpet when client was unable to remain in a standing position and face pressing into bar).

I provided follow-up recommendations for an immediate safety plan, and a visit was completed to review manual handling needs indicated at this time of day. Safeguarding issues were raised regarding carers not reporting difficulty and using poor manual handling techniques which put the client at risk. As a result, work was completed to improve the care agency’s manual handling practices.


The positive outcomes of doing the assessment remotely were:

  • It would have otherwise been difficult to assess at this time due to staff working hours being 9-5;
  • Multiple issues were able to be identified due to the ability to replay the video and break down tasks for analysis;
  • Carers may not have used the same techniques as usual in the presence of an OT, so this identified a learning need and work could be completed to improve the skills of the agency and reduce any transferable risk;
  • Risks were reduced that would otherwise have been unknown.