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Unique ID: DHT00878 Caption: Hospital equipment store. Orthopaedics. Stack of crutches and walking sticks.  Restrictions: NHS Photo Library - for use in NHS, local authority Social Care services and Department of Health material only Copyright: ©Crown Copyright

Have you been issued with a set of crutches and not returned them? Island residents are being asked to search their homes and return any pairs of crutches or any other items of NHS equipment that is no longer needed, such as zimmer frames and any other support aids.

 The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is spending thousands of pounds every year on replacement crutches. For every 50 pairs of crutches that are issued to patients only 10 pairs are returned.

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Matron Linda Fishburn from the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s says:

“We really do need people who are loaned crutches and other equipment from the Emergency Department to return them as soon as the equipment is no longer required.   It’s great that people get better but a failure to return equipment causes difficulties for other patients and is costing the Island’s health service money!”

Mick Poole, Deputy Integrated Community Equipment Manager, said:

“Crutches and other walking aids are provided on a short-term loan basis to NHS patients and should be returned when they are no longer required so they can be refurbished and reissued to others who need them.

“There are currently 8,664 pairs of crutches which have been issued and not returned. If the majority were returned when no longer required it would drastically reduce the numbers of new pairs purchased every year to meet people’s needs.

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“More than £10,000 has been spent purchasing new crutches over the past year and this is money that could be spent on other front-line services.  Usually it is just a case of forgetfulness but we really need to have them back.”

Equipment can be returned to the Emergency Department and Main Entrance at St Mary’s Hospital or to the Community Equipment Service located at 19 Barry Way, Newport Business Park.

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