80 per cent of crutches not returned to hospital

Crutches and other equipment that have been loaned short-term to patients are costing the Isle of Wight NHS thousands of pounds as only 1 in 5 are returned after use.

Piggy bank and crutches

Un-returned crutches cost the Isle of Wight NHS Trust thousands of pounds last year.

The Trust has issued an appeal for crutches, and other walking aids, to be returned by patients who no longer need them.

The cost of one pair of crutches is just under £10, and in 2017/18 the Trust spent £11,505 on replacing and repairing equipment. The annual figure also includes equipment that was replaced due to general wear and tear.

80 per cent un-returned
For every 50 pairs of crutches issued to patients, only ten are returned. Crutches and other walking aids, including zimmer frames, are provided on a short-term loan basis to NHS patients.

Although the emergency department has not run out, it has run very low at times on available crutches.

Return your crutches
A spokesperson for the Trust said:

“If every pair we issued was returned we would only need to buy a few new pairs every year to replace those that have been damaged, worn out or to cope with increased demand.”

Crutches can be returned to the Emergency Department or to the Community Equipment store located at 19 Barry Way.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: Senior Living under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 14th June, 2018 1:37pm


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Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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3 Comments on "80 per cent of crutches not returned to hospital"

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Not ideal, but the NHS could do more to make it happen. Ive dropped the two pairs I’ve used back, but I drive and am in Newport regularly. Why can’t they be dropped at any doctor’s surgery or clinic? Why not send a text to remind people after a few weeks? Maybe a £1 deposit or £1 returners reward? It would cost a lot less than £11,000… Read more »

10 seconds to think of a solution. £10 deposit. Next?


I wondered this, but you could get someone admitted with no cash who doesn’t have £10. Or people living in poverty who really need £10. I think making returns easier or nudging people with a text would be a better start and then see where we are.