What is the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM 08-02)?

The Health Technical Memorandum is a suite of documents that provide comprehensive advice, guidance, and technical information to support the design, installation, and operation of healthcare-oriented buildings and engineering technology.

Within the Health Technical Memorandum, there are many different documents that set out required standards for different services, including fire safety, decontamination processes, electrical safety, ventilation, and of course, lifts.

Each of these services has their own HTM document number – for lifts, this number is HTM 08-02.

The HTM 08-02 document lays out all the regulatory requirements for lifts used in the health sector. The documents offer guidance to healthcare management staff and external partners like Sheridan Lifts. It includes a comprehensive range of rules, guidelines and regulations regarding:

  • Management of lift installation and maintenance contracts
  • Designating who within the management structure are ‘responsible persons’, both internally and externally
  • Choosing the right type of lifts
  • Understanding and implementing any additional features to a standard lift project
  • The sizes and dimensions of lifts, depending on the type and size of the building they are in
  • Regular lift maintenance, and who is responsible for this
  • Management of lift modernisation
  • Management of all lifting equipment
pile of documents

Types of Healthcare Lifts

One of the key things that HTM 08-02 sets out is the types of lifts that are installed in hospitals, clinics and other clinical settings. Each of these lifts has different functions and different requirements, so it’s important to work with a lift provider who understands HTM 08-02 requirements, and why they are so important.

At Sheridan Lifts, we’ve been working with organisations in the healthcare sector for many years, and have extensive knowledge and experience of working within HTM 08-02 guidelines. This means you can feel confident your lifts and lift services are of the highest quality, and are compliant with all relevant legislation and industry best practices.

There is a range of lift types documented in HTM 08-02, each with their own specific requirements and purposes within healthcare environments.

Passenger Lifts

Passenger lifts are the most common type of lifts, and are used regularly in healthcare settings. These elevators serve general passenger traffic including people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc. Standard passenger lifts are usually suitable for these applications.

Passenger lifts in healthcare facilities need to be able to fit, at minimum, one wheelchair user and an attendant. There also needs to be space for a wheelchair user to turn and manoeuvre appropriately, and the lift controls need to be reachable by a wheelchair user or passenger using mobility aids.

Passenger lift

Goods Lifts and Goods Passenger Lifts

Goods lifts are used in hospitals for a range of conventional goods and dirty items (for example furniture, equipment, building materials, equipment maintenance supplies, waste etc). Goods lifts may be used just for transporting goods, or might be a goods passenger lift that can carry equipment and attendants.

Goods lifts are generally kept separate from regular passenger lifts where possible. However, particularly in smaller buildings, this is not always possible, and HTM 08-02 has guidance in place for when and how to combine lifts safely if required.

Goods Lift

Service Lifts and Housekeeping Lifts

While goods lifts are used for conventional and dirty goods, housekeeping and service lifts are generally used for “clean” goods, such as medical equipment, laundry and other goods. Service lifts and housekeeping lifts may be used by an attendant, or they may take the form of a dumbwaiter lift.

Dumbwaiter lifts are space-saving and convenient, and allow goods to be transported without risk of contamination, as they aren’t sharing spaces with other goods or people. They are also considerably smaller and tend to have lower weight requirements, which makes them easy to install even in smaller buildings or buildings with structural constraints.

service lift

Firefighting Lifts, Emergency Lifts and Evacuation Lifts

Incredibly important in the design of healthcare premises are lifts for use in emergency scenarios. Unlike commercial or residential buildings where the majority of users can self-evacuate in case of emergency, many healthcare settings (including hospitals), need a range of lifts that can be used to improve accessibility and help people evacuate, even if they have mobility issues.


Trolley/Stretcher Lifts and Bed Lifts

Trolley lifts and stretcher lifts are very regularly used in hospitals, particularly in fast-paced and emergency situations, where moving patients from one place to another quickly is vital. Trolley and stretcher lifts are designed with space for a patient on a stretcher, and to account for an attendant. In cases where trolley and stretcher lifts are used as passenger lifts (this is common in smaller buildings) and the technical memoranda documents also contain design specifications for appropriate heights for handrails so as to not impede the movement of a trolley or stretcher.

There are also guidelines on the right fittings for these lifts to protect against any potential damage from the movement of trolleys and stretchers in the lift.

Similarly to trolley and stretcher lifts, bed lifts need to have space included for the transportation of a patient in a standard-size hospital bed, as well as the required attendants.

Male Nurse Pushing Stretcher Gurney Bed In Hospital Corridor

Special Considerations for Lifts in the Healthcare Sector

As well as the different types of lifts that are detailed in HTM 08-02, there are several additional considerations to take into account when it comes to the design processes of new lifts, to ensure optimum safety for all users.

One of the key considerations for any specialised building in the healthcare sector is the number, position and circulation of the lifts on their premises. In instances where lifts are likely to have particularly high or low footfall, extra considerations may be taken to make the lifts more efficient and improve the flow of users, and improve the delivery of healthcare services. The health technical memoranda contains advice on all of these, as well as advice on when lift types can be combined for efficiency, and the design implications of this.

They also contain clear specifications for design engineers regarding door sizes, the dimensions of the lift floor, where emergency exits are placed, where handrails and lift controls are placed and much more to ensure accessibility and safety in healthcare premises.

Security is a concern for all health buildings and facilities to ensure the safety of all staff and patients. However, when it comes to lifts, there may be additional considerations to take into account. When building vertical transportation for in-patient mental health service wards, there are technologies such as card or key scanners that can restrict access and ensure that mental health facilities are kept safe for all patients.

The emergency bed service (known as an EBS or code blue control system) is also detailed in the HTM 08-02 documentation. It should be available in any lift that serves a theatre area but is also used as a general passenger or goods/service lift. It should also be in place in emergency care areas (A&E), where the entrance is not on the same floor as reception or surgical facilities. The EBS is a system that allows authorised users to call the lift directly and take it to the required floor, without any stops on the way. This allows medical professionals to transport patients quickly from floor to floor in emergency situations, without any interruptions from other lift users.

Sheridan Lifts’ Work in the Healthcare Sector

To learn more about how lifts work, or to get help from the experts on your lift project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Sheridan Lifts. With decades of experience under our belt, we can help you with lift installation, maintenance and repairs of the highest standard.

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Case Studies

Case Study: An electrical lift refurbishment by Sheridan Lifts

We are commencing our second week of work on a 12-story building for one of our clients. This week we are continuing to carry out a full MRL electrical refurbishment (no motor room) after some severe historic water damage to the existing equipment was causing ongoing issues for the tenants of this residential block.