Thousands of items returned after appeal for medical and care equipment

Specialist beds, seating and walking sticks are amongst 4,500 items of community equipment returned in Staffordshire following an appeal.

The campaign asked people to return all NHS and local council loaned items if they no longer needed them, so they could be cleaned, recycled and reused.

Items returned included specialist beds and mattresses, bathing aids, walking frames and sticks.

Ian Turner, Head of Commercial at Staffordshire County Council, explained that it was great to see so many people coming forward to return their un-needed pieces of equipment: “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 some of the items once they’re not needed aren’t handed back and end up in people’s sheds, backrooms or in cupboards.

“We are trying to make it as easy as possible for people to return their items and it’s great to see so many people coming forward. Just contact us and we’ll arrange to have the items collected where they will be cleaned up and then passed on to help someone else.”

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.

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.

The County Council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) works with Medequip who provide the community equipment service.

Anyone with equipment that they no longer require can return it to Medequip at Stevenson House on Beaconside in Stafford, or call 01785 273950 to arrange for them to collect it.

People will also be able to return items directly to Medequip when they visit the Market Square in Stafford on Tuesday 18 April. At the event, staff will be on hand to offer free walking aid checks and replace any rubber grips on the bottom of walking sticks free of charge.

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