Thanks to the entrepreneurial skills of two highly specialist physiotherapists, 58 Zimmer frames, eight pulpit walkers, 12 gutter frames, three elbow crutches and 21 walking sticks have found their way back to hospital.
Their return is due to a scheme set up by Nicola Blair and Aileen Kelly.
They identified there was no clear pathway for patients to return walking aids once they no longer required them. This has led to frustration for patients, their families and for NHS staff with walking aids frequently discarded in clinical areas causing significant infection control issues and a health and safety risk or worse still, ending up in landfill. Now, through working in partnership with JLES (Joint Loan Equipment Services) Falkirk Council and recycling centres in the Falkirk area, drop off points have been identified.
JLES handle the collection, safety inspection, decontamination, refurbishment and return of suitable walking aids back to health via CSD and it is hoped that the scheme will go some way to addressing the current walking aid budget which is being severely stretched.
Due to Covid-19, Nicola and Aileen say they have been unable to advertise the scheme widely but once restrictions are eased they will publicise further which could lead to a big increase in returns. They would also like to see the scheme eventually rolled out across Forth Valley.
More information about the scheme can be found on the NHS Forth Valley website.