Devon County Council frame CES

Following an appeal to urge people to return unwanted and unneeded community equipment, Devon County Council has seen over 450 items donated to help avoid stock shortage disruption and hospital discharge delays.

In mid-April, the council put out the call, warning that stocks of items such as commodes were running low as the NHS accelerated hospital discharges of patients into the community to free up critical capacity.

Since the appeal, hundreds of commodes, walking frames and shower stools have been donated in response.

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Millbrook Healthcare, the commissioned community equipment service provider, has been collecting items safely from households across the county to be re-issued following testing and deep cleaning.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult social care and health, said: “Some of the equipment that the Millbrook team has so far collected has already been checked, tested, decontaminated and is back out in the community helping other people to remain as independent as possible at home.”

According to Devon County Council, Millbrook has taken more than 600 calls so far from members of the public offering a wide range of community equipment they no longer need.

“The response to the appeal has been amazing! We think that we’ve now received more than 450 pieces of equipment so far and the figure is rising,” continued Cllr Leadbetter.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has phoned with offers of equipment they no longer need.”

Assisting in the effort was Devon County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, where members of the public often leave unwanted items of equipment.

Its contractor Suez Recycling and Recovery UK collected more than 250 pieces of community equipment left at recycling centres across Devon to deliver it to Millbrook’s Exeter depot.

Despite seeing so many items returned, the council says that items including profiling beds, pressure relieving mattresses mobile hoists and patient turners are still highly sought after.

The returns appeal comes as the British Healthcare Trades Association’s Community Equipment Services Provider working group launched a new national campaign to encourage people across the country to return items, highlighting that many local authorities are facing the same challenges and pressures as Devon.

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