Essex council refutes claims £100ks of care equipment is being ‘left to rot’

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Essex County Council has argued against claims that hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of mobility and care equipment left at a depot have been ‘left there to rot’.

An employee of Essex Cares Limited, a Local Authority Trading Company which supplies community care equipment, claimed that equipment including waking frames, toilet frames and beds had been left to stack up in a local depot due to a lack of staff to clean them,

But the council, which owns Essex Cares, refuted the claims and said that around £350,000 had been saved in the last five months thanks to the recycling of care equipment at the site, according to the Halstead Gazette.

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Joe Coogan, ECL operations director, told the newspaper: “Our team sorts, cleans and reuses thousands of pieces of equipment every month.”

“When we recycle old equipment, all the money earned is ploughed back into new items which helps keep the cost to taxpayers down.

“We were extremely disappointed and upset by the way this hugely successful service, which saves tax payers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, was characterised in national newspapers.”

The company collected around 3,500 used items from homes across Essex with 95% of them cleaned, refurbished and reused by other people in around four days. Five per cent of the equipment was scrapped.

Meanwhile, in August 93% of the 2,226 pieces of equipment collected were reused. The council said that this turnaround means items are constantly moving in and out of the depot.

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