HOSPITAL bosses have made an impassioned plea for patients to return unused crutches in a bid to save £80,000 a year.
Accident and emergency staff at the Hartlepool’s One Life Centre and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, have requested members of the public to return crutches issued to them in the past.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has given out more than 5,000 pairs of crutches to patients, most of which have not been returned, leading bosses to described the situation as “critical”.
They say it could save an estimated £80,000 per year - savings that they would be able to spend on several nursing staff.
Stuart Harper, matron at the accident and emergency ward, said: “We know that returning crutches is the last thing on anyone’s mind when they’re properly back on their feet again after breaking a leg or foot.
“We need the crutches for other patients so we’re asking people to come and hand them in at the accident and emergency.
“I’m sure many people put them away in a cupboard and forget all about them, but it’s always worth reminding people to just have a look around the house and hand them in if they have inadvertently hung on to them.“
Crutches can be returned to accident and emergency sections at University Hospital of North Tees or One Life Hartlepool’s minor injuries unit.