May 29, 2024 | Terry Smith

Top 5 considerations when buying portering chairs for your hospital

Are you in the market for new portering chairs for your hospital site? Overwhelmed by all the options and types that are out there?

In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 things you should consider when buying portering chairs for your hospital site, to help make your decision-making process a little bit easier.

For a comparison of popular portering chairs available today, check out this blog article

1. Robustness

An important consideration when buying portering chairs should be how robust and reliable the chair is.

Portering chairs are used very frequently and travel over long distances daily, and subsequently, small accidents such as bumping walls or doors occur regularly. All these things can lead to a lot of wear and tear over time, so it’s important to choose a portering chair that is up for the job!

We would recommend selecting a portering chair that has no bare-steel components, as these can rust over time, and where possible, choose a chair that has integrated bumpers, to avoid scratches and dents to the chair in the event of a collision. We’ve also had feedback that features such as drop-down armrests secured with thumbscrews are less reliable than folding armrests, and the thumbscrews can be damaged or lost over time. 


2. Ease of use

As mentioned, a portering chair is a piece of equipment that is used frequently, and as such, your staff and porters must find it easy and comfortable to use. 

Some things to consider here are:

  • Features such as dual-braking systems are quicker and easier for porters to operate compared to independent brakes on each wheel
  • The angle and height of the chair’s handles are important considerations – we would always recommend you try a chair with your team before buying!
  • The diameter of the wheels can have a big impact on how easy the chair is to push with a patient on it. We recommend selecting a chair that has rear wheels of a diameter of 250mm or more. 


3. Loss-prevention

We often hear reports of portering chairs being misplaced and left all over a hospital site and sometimes even mysteriously disappearing altogether! 

Most portering chairs will have the option to add accessories such as card or coin lock systems, and wall brackets, and we would recommend adding these to help prevent these incidents from happening. 

We would also recommend choosing chairs that can be stacked or nested, which will make storage a lot easier and help prevent having loose chairs scattered over the site.


4. Design & comfort

Whilst this is often overlooked, another important factor to consider is the design of the chair, and how it looks and feels from a patient’s point of view.

A modern and attractive-looking chair is likely to attract better attention when compared to an outdated piece of equipment, which, from a patient’s point of view, could convey negative feelings about the hospital and the care received. Features such as padded seat covers and armrests will help make the patient experience more comfortable and positive, and the angle of the seat can also have a big impact on how comfortable the chair feels for a patient. Again, we would recommend trying out a chair first before going ahead with a purchase. 

Some of the most attractive-looking chairs include the Stryker Prime TC Transit Chair and the TransitFlow Portering Chair.


5. Price (upfront & ongoing)

An important consideration for most Trusts is going to be how much the chairs cost. 

In terms of upfront costs, most portering chairs fall between £800-1200 per chair, with the more basic chairs like the Bristol Maid coming out cheapest. 

However, it’s also important to consider the ongoing costs associated with the upkeep and maintenance of your chairs – choosing a cheaper chair will most likely result in higher ongoing costs due to parts damaging more easily & frequently.




I hope this article has given you some guidance and helped you in choosing the best portering chair for your Trust!

We always recommend trialling a chair before investing in a quantity, and we offer this for the TransitFlow Portering Chair – feel free to get in touch with us on 01473 741144 or via the contact form below to arrange, or if you have any other questions for us! Speak soon.



Related articles

A complete comparison of the most popular hospital Portering Chairs of 2024

How much does the TransitFlow Portering Chair cost?

Bristol Maid Portering Chair vs TransitFlow Portering Chair – An Honest Comparison




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Terry Smith

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