London Northwest University Healthcare NHS Trust has issued an appeal to the public in Brent, Ealing, and Harrow to return any unused walking aids.
The Trust, responsible for Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, faces a shortage of crutches, frames, and walking sticks.
Physios at the Trust estimate that thousands of walking aids are given to patients annually, but many of these aids are not returned when patients no longer require them.
Last month, Victoria Manson, Principal Lead Musculoskeletal and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist at Northwick Park Hospital, explained that the shortage of walking aids is a significant issue, stating that “We do have a shortage of crutches, frames and walking sticks. This means it can be a struggle to provide patients with the support they need, which in some cases can lead to discharge being held up. It can cost tens of thousands of pounds each year to replace walking aids.”
Manson added that the Trust would appreciate any support from the public in addressing the shortage of walking aids, “We’d really appreciate it if people can have a check at home and return any aids they have. That will allow us to clean them up and re-use/recycle them for other people to use.”
The Trust has designated three drop-off points for returning the metal Zimmer frames, crutches, and walking sticks.
They are located at Northwick Park Hospital – Level 4, Physiotherapy reception, Central Middlesex Hospital – Ground floor, Physiotherapy reception, and Ealing Hospital – Level 1 Orange Wing, Physiotherapy department.
However, the Trust has clarified that wooden walking sticks and commodes will not be accepted.
By returning any unused walking aids, members of the public can support the Trust’s efforts to ensure that patients receive the necessary support and minimise the cost of replacing walking aids.