Oxford Hoist: A Rich History

Summary. Oxford Hoist, with roots dating to the 1950s, has become a global healthcare brand. Originating from Headington Hill Hall, it was commercialised in 1955. The brand grew and transitioned through acquisitions by Parker Bath and Sunrise Medical before finding its home with Joerns Healthcare. Now, Oxford offers versatile patient lifting solutions.


Behind the Oxford Hoist name, there is a rich history dating back all the way to the mid 1950’s. The introduction of the first Oxford Hoist was in both domestic, private, and public care settings. Therefore, Oxford truly helped revolutionise care for those with reduced or limited mobility. What was once a relatively unknown name that commercialised a single hoist, has now become a global brand in the healthcare industry. It has an extensive range of product solutions to meet and exceed the needs of today’s demanding care environment.

Early Origins

Headington Hill Hall

After installing the first wall-mounted lift at Headington Hall Military Hospital in 1954, the first ‘Oxford’ mobile patient hoist was commercialised and launched onto the general market in 1955. Selling directly through F.J Payne Engineering, a company was founded in 1917. The brand name ‘Oxford’ was chosen as a nod to the revolutionary medical research and development taking place within the region at that time. The design incorporated six castor wheels for stability and to help navigate over uneven floors.

Making A Name

In the early 1960’s, two companies based on either side of the Atlantic were beginning to make a name for themselves in the healthcare industry. Joerns, a furniture manufacturer, was founded by three brothers, Charles, Paul, and Frederick Joerns in 1889. Based in Wisconsin in the USA, the business was quickly expanding into the long-term care sector.

Meanwhile, in Oxfordshire, England, engineer John Payne was building his own success story. He manufactured and commercialised the first mobile patient hoist. This was while working alongside Dr Richie Russell who was a doctor at Headington Hill Hospital. Dr Russell had been working on the existing bed hoist system. It relied on counterbalanced weights to help nurses complete the lifting and transferring of injured World War 2 veterans. Some further insight is provided here: Headington Hill Hall.

Growing The Brand

After the first mobile patient lift was launched in 1955, the Oxford brand began to create and bring more products to market. In the years that followed, these products were pivotal in establishing Oxford as a leader in the manufacture and supply of patient lifting products.

Following a brief collaboration, Oxford Hoist was sold to Parker Bath in 1989. This was before the brand was subsequently acquired by Sunrise Medical in 1996. Sunrise continued to increase the brand’s product offering, launching many new and innovative patient lift and sling products. This was including the Mini, Midi, Major, Maxi and Standard hoists.

From Sunrise To Joerns

old hoist

In 2007, a global shake up within Sunrise Medical resulted in the launch of a newly launched company, Joerns Healthcare. Joerns would become responsible for supplying patient handling solutions worldwide. As well as, housing a number of leading brands. This includes: Hoyer, UltraCare, P.R.O. Matt, BioClinic, Dolphin, and now Oxford. Further acquisitions took place over the next decade. This was including: Triline Medical, RecoverCare in 2014 and Dynamic Medical Systems in 2015 to further expand and enhance its service offering.

From Strength To Strength

Joerns Healthcare remains the home of Oxford Hoist today, after a great history of more than 14 years. Over these years, Joerns has continued to thrive and grow its product offering in order to support the growing demand for healthcare equipment. High in quality, durability and versatility, our products are some of the most popular and dependable solutions available today. With operations in the United States, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, the Joerns business focuses primarily on the long-term care sector.

oxford hoist new and old

Now, the Oxford brand is responsible for many innovative and leading patient lifting and handling equipment. This includes, familiar names such as the Oxford Journey, Presence, Advance, Midi and Major. As well as, one of the most comprehensive patient sling offerings available.

If you would like to find out more about Joerns Healthcare products and the history of the Oxford Hoist, then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can call +44 (0)344 811 1158 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on The Importance Of Moving And Handling Training.

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