An NHS trust covering Peterborough, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford Hospitals says it has an equipment deficit and is asking for people to return mobility aids such as walking aids, commodes and pressure care cushions.
NHS trusts across the country have recently reported a growing problem with equipment not being returned after they have been given to patients to take home.
North West Anglia Trust estimates that it gives out around 10,000 pieces of equipment each year and between 10% and 15% are not returned, meaning the deficit is building. The Trust is concerned at the high costs it is facing to replace vital equipment such as crutches.
Katie Hill, from Rehabilitation Services at the Trust, said that all returned equipment, where still usable, will be cleaned up and put back into circulation, according to a report.
Ms Hill told Heart: “We think people have the best of intentions, but sometimes things get put to the side, and before you know it a long time has passed.
“Sometimes people feel like they can’t return an item if they’ve had it for ages – but it’s ok; you definitely can.
“We only have a certain amount of stock, and we have to purchase that ourselves as an NHS Trust.
“For everything that doesn’t come back, we have to buy more. If we can save that money, it can go elsewhere.”
North West Anglia NHS Trust’s equipment amnesty is set to run for another three weeks.