‘Amazing’ response across Devon to appeal for return of un-needed medical equipment

Borrowed walking frames are among the equipment being returned. Picture: Getty Images

Borrowed walking frames are among the equipment being returned. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hundreds of items of borrowed medical equipment and mobility aids have been returned to Devon’s health and social care services, following an appeal by the county council.

The call was made earlier this month after concern about potential shortages of the items due to a high demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Large numbers of people had equipment such as commodes, walking frames and shower stools they were no longer using.

The county council announced that the items could be collected from their homes by Millbrook Healthcare, and around 600 people phoned in response.

A further 250 items have been retrieved from Devon’s household waste recycling centres by contractor Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd, who collected the community equipment and delivered it to Millbrook’s Exeter depot.

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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.

“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.

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

Devon County councillor Andrea Davis, who is responsible for the Council’s household waste recycling centres, said: “Recycling centres are important collection points for no longer used community equipment and in normal times we arrange regular collections by Millbrook for accumulated equipment.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to respond to the appeal, and that equipment left at our sites is already being re-used to support people at home.

“Thanks as well to the team at Suez. Our household waste recycling centres are temporarily closed at the moment, but they’ve driven around the centres and collected equipment for delivery to Millbrook.”

Larger items of community equipment that are still highly sought after include profiling beds, pressure relieving mattresses, mobile hoists and patient turners.

Anyone with an item of community equipment they no longer need is asked to phone Millbrook Care to arrange a free collection on 0330 124 4491.

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