NRS Healthcare offers a free delivery and collection service for unwanted medical equipment in Herefordshire image

Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley NHS Trust are urging residents in the Herefordshire area to return unwanted equipment so that it can be reused by other patients, as part of its new Hand it Back campaign.

The campaign was created due to the millions of pounds worth of equipment on loan in the community, some of which may no longer be needed or used.

According to the Council, it sees many mobility aids, such as walking frames, crutches, wheelchairs and chairs, unnecessarily wasted by people who no longer have a use for them. For other people, items lie around their homes instead of being put to good use, where they could be recycled and reused by other patients.

Jo Burns, Clinical Manager for Physiotherapy at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We’ve launched this campaign to call on former patients to return much needed equipment in order to save thousands of pounds.

“We ordered 6,300 walking aids last year to be loaned to patients with mobility issues at a cost of nearly £56,000. This equipment has been loaned to patients, but sometimes people don’t realise it can be re-used.

“So if your equipment is no longer needed or used please ‘hand it back’ and help us replenish our stocks for other patients and save the NHS money.”

As well as reducing the impact of waste on the environment, returning the medical equipment would ensure that thousands of devices would go to new homes instead of ending up in landfill.

Other benefits include saving replacement costs and allowing more people to remain independent in their own homes, instead of being admitted to a hospital or care home.

To return the unwanted equipment – which is supplied by Herefordshire Council or the NHS – NRS Healthcare is helping to collect the devices. To arrange a free return or collection, people are encouraged to call NRS on 0300 100 0045 or via email at enquiries@herefordshire.nrs-uk.net

Alternatively, patients can return their items directly to the NRS depot at Unit 3a, Thorn Business Park, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JT.

Herefordshire Councillor Paul Rone concluded: “There are thousands of pieces of equipment out there in the community that could be reused by someone in need.

“I am urging residents to take a few minutes to look around their homes and their sheds and outbuildings to look for borrowed equipment with the NRS Healthcare barcode on it and to encourage relatives and friends to do the same.

“If people have an elderly relative it can be worth having a conversation with them to find out if they have any items lying around the house that should be returned.

“Unfortunately the cost of replacing unreturned equipment ultimately falls to the local taxpayer, but these costs can easily be reduced if residents make sure that borrowed equipment is returned as soon as it’s no longer needed.”

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