Patients urged to relinquish un-needed medical equipment as supplies run low during Covid-19 crisis

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

People with borrowed medical equipment or mobility aids that they no longer need are being urged to relinquish it so that it can be used during the coronavirus crisis.

Patients leaving hospital are often given items such as commodes, walking frames, shower stools and raised toilet seats to use while they recuperate at home.

Once the equipment is no longer needed, patients often neglect to return it, and during lockdown it has been impossible for large numbers of people to leave their homes.

Now a collection service has been set up so that urgently-needed items can be brought back into use.

Devon County Council says the outbreak of the virus has meant the NHS and social care teams have needed to quickly support a much higher volume of patients with items of equipment, placing an increased demand on the service.

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Covid-19 is also putting staffing pressures on manufacturers, making the supply and distribution of the items more difficult.

Supplies of the equipment are running low, with some items, such as commodes, in especially high demand.

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The council is asking anyone who has items of equipment they are no longer using to contact Millbrook Care on 0330 124 4491 so that a collection can be arranged, free of charge.

Once this has been arranged, people will be asked to leave the item outside or in a safe place for collection by Millbrook.

Items that can be re-used will be fully tested, refurbished if required, and thoroughly cleaned before being reused.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for adult social care and health services, said: “Coronavirus has caused a significant increase in the need for vital community equipment. I

“If anyone has any of these items at home and no longer uses them, please can they get in touch, so that it can be reused to help those who are in need.

“There is some excellent work going on to support the most vulnerable in our communities during these challenging times and this is another valuable way in which you can do that.”

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