Former hospital patients are being asked to return any crutches and Zimmer frames that are no longer being used, as part of ‘crutch amnesty’ for 2016.
A majority of these aids are used over a long period of time by many patients. But some – particularly the crutches, which cost £30 a pair – are never seen again. Every year East Kent Hospitals spends more than £27,000 a year on walking aids.
It’s believed that many of the missing walking aids collect dust in attics and cupboards, but there have been recent reports of some turning up at local boot fairs.
Service development lead for therapies at EKHUFT, Louise Coleman, said: “We’re always grateful to receive our equipment back – even if a patient believes it to be of no further use, through wear and tear.
“Anyone who does have a mobility aid, such as a crutch, at home, is being asked to return the equipment to the physiotherapy department at their nearest EKHUFT hospital, which are the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Buckland Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital and William Harvey Hospital.
“We’re not in the blame game – so please don’t worry about returning it. We’d be just more than happy to see the equipment back, so we can make good use of it.”