FOLLOWING last week’s report that crutches and wheelchairs have been discovered in skips around Mid-Ulster, the Northern Trust has called for the return of equipment which patients no longer need.
Many people forget about these useful pieces of equipment when they have finished with them and they end up gathering cobwebs in garages and garden sheds across the Trust area.
And many people may need a range of rehabilitation equipment to help them while they recover following a period of ill health. When the equipment is no longer needed it tends to get put away and forgotten about.
Roy Hamill, Assistant Director, Primary and Community Care for Older People’s Services would encourage anyone with equipment to return it to the Trust. He said:
“We would like to get this equipment back however old it is and see if we can use it to help others. Returned equipment is checked and thoroughly cleaned before being given out to other patients. “There are a range of items such as specialist seating, wheelchairs, crutches, walking aids, bathing and toileting aids that we are keen to recover. We would ask that people search their attics and garages to see if any of these valuable resources have been put away and forgotten about.”
Returning equipment will raise the issue of infection control, but Roy Hamill is keen to reassure people that this will not be a problem for the Trust. “All returned equipment will be thoroughly washed and disinfected as required. This happens with all pieces of equipment used in hospitals or issued to patients at home. We have processes in place to cater for this.
The Northern Trust has said there will be no penalty associated with returning equipment however long ago they were issued. They are keen to rebuild stock for the benefit of patients who need them. If you have items of equipment which you need to return, please telephone 028 2563 3991 and we will arrange to collect it. In order to ensure that client records are accurate you will only be asked who the equipment had been originally provided for.
For further information please contact: Donna Lennon on 2563 3762. Out-of-hours telephone: 0844 8222888 and ask for pager number 805493. For more information on our services visit our website on www.northerntrust.hscni.net