Physios declare amnesty

PUBLISHED: 11:22 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

Patients are being asked to return their used physio equipment

Patients are being asked to return their used physio equipment

People across Comet country are being told: Return what you have borrowed and there will be no questions asked. Physiotherapists are trying to find hundreds of missing walking aids and home equipment never returned after being lent out to patients. Thei

People across Comet country are being told: "Return what you have borrowed and there will be no questions asked."

Physiotherapists are trying to find hundreds of missing walking aids and home equipment never returned after being lent out to patients.

Their equipment amnesty at hospitals in East and North Herts including Lister is hoped to encourage patients or their families to hand back everything from wheelchairs to walking sticks.

Equipment like this is often loaned to patients to help them get mobile again after a spell in hospital or for longer term problems but some items are never returned.

In many cases when a patient dies, family members aren't aware that the equipment can be refurbished and reused.

The amnesty runs throughout July and August.

Ruth Cargill, physiotherapy manager, said: "The physiotherapy department supplies patients with sticks, crutches and frames usually for a short time. Hertfordshire Equipment Service also provides a variety of equipment to improve patients' quality of life and allow them to maintain their independence and safety in their own homes. Some items are returned of course, but lots won't be and are probably sitting in people's garages or attics gathering dust."

Equipment can be returned to the physiotherapy department at Lister, Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm.

* Using recycled walking aids rather than buying new ones saves the NHS half of its equipment costs.

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