Hartlepool NHS Trust’s plea to patients to return their crutches after national shortage

Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundatio n Trust are asking patients to bring their crutches back if they are no longer needed.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:55 pm
Due to a national shortage, staff are asking patients to bring their crutches back if they don't need them anymore./Photo: North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

The trust is appealing to patients who have been given crutches to return them once they are no longer needed following a national shortage.

Around 10 to 15 pairs are given to patients every day from urgent care centres at both the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

But the trust has said that a significant number have not been returned, posing a serious issue because of a national shortage believed to be due to a scarcity of aluminium.

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Trust urgent and emergency care charge nurse Steve Rayner said: “We know that returning crutches is the last thing on anyone’s mind when they’re back on their feet after an injury.

“Historically, we have always had issues with a large number of crutches not being returned. But this is becoming an even more significant problem due to a national shortage.

“We need the crutches for other patients so we’re asking people to please hand them in. Many will have stored them away and forgotten they are in the home.

“Please bring them back so we can re-use them.”

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Upon return, all crutches are professionally cleaned before they are issued to other patients.

Crutches can be returned to the University Hospital of Hartlepool via orthopaedic outpatients and to the University Hospital of North Tees via the main reception, urgent and emergency care reception, orthopaedic outpatients and the Tatchell Centre

For more information about returning medical equipment, visit the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust website.

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