Crutch of the matter

AN amnesty for crutches, walking frames and pain management machines is being launched by the physiotherapy department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The hospital has a delivery every month of 60 walking frames and up to 100 crutches. A single crutch costs t

AN amnesty for crutches, walking frames and pain management machines is being launched by the physiotherapy department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

The hospital has a delivery every month of 60 walking frames and up to 100 crutches. A single crutch costs the hospital trust £7 each and frames cost £16.

These are used by thousands of patients over the year but very few people return the equipment to the hospital once they have recovered.

The amnesty is the idea of Alison Crocker, senior physiotherapist who said: "We wanted to make people realise that equipment is a huge part of the physiotherapy budget and this may be a way to help reduce ever-increasing costs and financial strains on the National Health Service.


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"We want to hold an amnesty, asking people to return all our borrowed equipment. We had a patient here this week who said he had been to take some rubbish to the tip and seen four pairs of crutches there. People die and their relatives stick them in garages or lofts or throw them away.

"Sometimes we need frames or crutches for patients and we just haven't got any. We try to find them from other places in the hospital but if we don't have any, it means the whole hospital is short.

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"We deal in huge numbers but it seems they all go out and we never get any back."

INFORMATION: Anyone with equipment they have borrowed from Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which could end the financial year in £20million of debt, should return it to the front entrance of the hospital where the wheelchairs are stored or the physiotherapy department.

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