People from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being urged to return any community equipment that they no longer need as part of a new campaign.
Last year over 97,000 items of community equipment were loaned to people and while most items are returned and reused, around 20,000 remain out in the community.
Now, this latest campaign is encouraging people to return all NHS and local council loaned items if they no longer need them, so they can be cleaned, recycled and reused.
Equipment and items that often get forgotten and left unreturned include: supportive seating, specialist beds and mattresses, manual and electric hoists, walking frames and sticks.
Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:
“Each year thousands of items are loaned to people free of charge to help them live independently or regain their independence after a time in hospital. But many of the items once they’re not needed aren’t handed back and end up in people’s sheds, backrooms or in cupboards.
“It’s important that people let us know when they no longer need the item. All you need to do is call us and we’ll arrange to have the items collected where they will be cleaned up and then passed on to help someone else.”
The County Council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) works with Medequip who provide the community equipment service.
More expensive items like specialist beds when returned could save up to £400 and each electric hoist returned saves at least £480. Seats returned can save between £25 and £50 and a walking stick returned saves £15. Single items worth less than £10 are excluded as the cost of collection and cleaning often outweighs the original cost of the item.
Anyone with equipment that they no longer require can arrange for it to be collected free of charge at a convenient time by calling Medequip on 01785 273950. Alternatively, people can also return items themselves to Medequip, Stevenson House, Tollgate Road, Beaconside, Stafford, or can email firstname.lastname@example.org.