Patients can play their part in helping the NHS - by returning crutches they no longer need.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spends more than £30,000 a year in crutches.
I am sure most people put them away and forget all about them, but we are asking people to please have a look and hand them in if they have hung on to themClaire Baker
Bosses say the emergency and urgent care sections lends out more than 50 pairs a week and the vast majority of them are not returned.
Staff at the trust, which runs the University Hospital of Hartlepoolo and the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, are now asking people to bring crutches back once they are no longer needed.
A spokesman said that, over the course of the year, the trust spends more than £30,000 on crutches and it is money which could be used improving patient care.
Urgent care practitioner Claire Baker said: “When we issue patients with a pair of crutches, we ask them to return them once they no longer need them so they can be used by someone else.
“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.
“However we need the crutches for other patients so we’re asking people to hand them in.”
Claire added: “I am sure most people put them away and forget all about them, but we are asking people to please have a look and hand them in if they have hung on to them.”
Anyone who has crutches they no longer need is urged to return them to the urgent care reception area at either the University Hospital of North Tees or the University Hospital of Hartlepool.