Hospital mobility aids: What to do with your crutches, frames and other medical items after use?

Fylde coast residents are being reassured they can return their mobility aids to Blackpool Victoria Hospital to avoid waste and help save the trust money.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 1:45 pm
Crutches can be returned to Blackpool hospital

It follows an investigation by the Gazette into what happens to the unwanted medical equipment supplied to patients.

The hospital has run schemes for a number of years encouraging patients to return items such as crutches, walking sticks and zimmer frames

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust saved £14,000 between March and December 2018 as patients returned more than 1,600 pairs of crutches, 145 walking sticks and 58 zimmer frames.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Stickers are put on the items to promote them being returned.

Nick Lane, Head of Therapies at the Trust, said: “We have had a programme encouraging people who use mobility aids to return them for some years now and saved a lot of money.

“We put stickers on all aids issued at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to advise people to ring us once they have finished with the item and in December 2018 more than 250 items were given back to us saving the organisation about £1,600 in that month alone.

“All the returned items are looked at closely to see which are in a fit state to be cleaned and reused and those that aren’t are recycled.

“Hospitals have tight budgets so we really can’t stress the importance of returning crutches, frames and sticks that can be used again and if anyone has any mobility aids at home lurking in the garage or in the back of the cupboard we would ask them to please return them.’’

Certain items, such as commodes, cannot be returned due to sanitary reasons, however they can be donated to charities or other organisations.

Walking aids can be returned to the physio department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and various community venues across the Fylde coast.

Call 01253 953512 for further details.