Are you or any of your family still in possession of a piece of NHS equipment that you or they no longer require?
If so we’d like to make a polite request – can we please have it back so it can be used to help someone else?
In 2016 local health services issued over 100,000 items of NHS equipment including crutches, walking frames and mattresses to patients in Suffolk at a cost of more than £8.5m, but by the end of the year more than a third of them had not been returned.
We understand that some patients need to keep hold of NHS equipment over a long period, but NHS services lose a small fortune each year due to missing equipment.
The equipment we are keen to recover ranges from alternating air mattresses, which cost £1,650 each, to wheeled adjustable frames, which cost £12.70 each. In one month alone last year nearly £8,500 worth of wheeled adjustable frames and nearly £600,000 worth of air mattresses were issued by Suffolk NHS services.
How can you help?
Throughout March people in Suffolk will be asked to return as much unused NHS equipment as possible. The NHS and the county council have been working in partnership with our NHS equipment suppliers Medequip to ensure as many ‘surplus to requirement’ items can be returned as easily as possible as part of a month-long amnesty.
Whatever the equipment is, or whatever condition it might be in, it can be assessed and safety-tested before either being repaired and reused or alternatively, stripped down to be recycled. No questions will be asked of any person returning equipment during this period.
The amnesty is a Suffolk-wide partnership initiative involving West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, Suffolk Community Healthcare, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust and Suffolk County Council.
Where do I go?
You can return equipment to one of three collection points set up at Medequip depots across the county. The depots are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm and during March on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. The depots are located at:
- Unit 3 Bunting Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7BX
- Unit 1a, The Moor Business Park, Benacre Road, Ellough, nr Beccles, NR34 7TQ
- Unit 31, Bluestem Road, Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, IP3 9RR
What if I can’t get to one of the collection points?
If you are unable to drop equipment off at one of the collection points you can call Medequip on 01473-351805 or email Suffolk@medequip-uk.com to arrange for them to come and collect it from you.