During 2017, Healthwatch Kirklees repeatedly heard stories from people who were struggling to return equipment they no longer needed; things like crutches, zimmer frames and wheelchairs.

People either didn’t know where to return it or, when they tried to return it, they were often told they’d gone to the wrong place or that the service didn’t want it back.

Social care Engagement

Why did we cover this issue?

Healthwatch Kirklees wanted to understand the issues people were having so decided to run an equipment amnesty during February 2018 so that people could return things quickly and easily and give us any feedback about their experience of trying to return equipment.

Healthwatch Kirklees are working with equipment providers and the NHS to make it easier for people to return equipment to the right place in future.


POSTER: Amnesty Poster – February 2018

Throughout February 2018, Healthwatch Kirklees ran an amnesty for crutches, walking aids and wheelchairs.

We encouraged anyone who had any unwanted crutches, wheelchairs or walking aids to hand them in so that they could be re-used in local hospitals and in the community.

The poster was shared via social media and community groups. Hard copy leaflets leaflets were also provided to GPs, pharmacies and nursing homes who did not have an online presence.

There was an overwhelming response to the amnesty.

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UPDATE: What happened as a result of the equipment amnesty?

We are talking to local hospitals and Medequip who provide most of the equipment to people in Kirklees.

They are all keen to have equipment returned and Healthwatch Kirklees want to support these organisations to get clear messages to people about the different ways they can return equipment they no longer need.

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Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust and Medequip collected the walking aids and equipment we collected in our amnesty.

The equipment will now be cleaned and re-checked to be given back out to hospitals and patients.

To see how much equipment we collected click the download button on the right.


UPDATE: Amnesty bin locations – June 2018

As a result of our work there are now amnesty bins throughout Kirklees where people can drop off their used walking aids and crutches to be recycled.

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