Press Release – Waitemata District Health Board
People are being asked to return their used hospital crutches as part of an equipment amnesty drive in October.
The drive is being conducted by the Waitemata District Health Board, which runs North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals along with other health services in the northern and western parts of Auckland.
Tamzin Brott, Waitemata DHB head of division (allied health), says patients are often discharged home with crutches and other hospital equipment that will aid their recovery.
“The intent is for the crutches and other equipment to be on loan for a short term while they recover,” says Ms Brott.
“But sometimes people get busy and they forget; they store them away after use, not realising that the equipment belongs to the hospital and that other people could benefit from its use.”
A hospital crutch costs around $50 each and the DHB – which is New Zealand’s largest by population size – goes through a significant number each year, spending well over $100,000 annually.
Ms Brott says most crutches can be reused.
“While $50 isn’t a relatively large expense, it all adds up.”
A reassessment with a physiotherapist or occupational therapist is required for people who feel they need to retain hospital equipment for longer.
The amnesty runs for the entire month of October. Members of the public can drop crutches back to three collection points between 8.00am and 4.00pm:
• Main reception, North Shore Hospital, 124 Shakespeare Rd, Takapuna
• Main reception, Waitakere Hospital, 55 Lincoln Rd, Henderson
• Main reception, Hibiscus Coast Community Health Centre, 136 Whangaparaoa Rd, Whangaparaoa
Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley says the savings from the reuse of returned crutches will be reinvested back into health services.
“As a DHB, we always seek to do more for the communities we serve. But we don’t have an unlimited supply of funds, so we do have to work smarter and be more efficient in the way we deliver our health services.
“The public can also play their part by supporting the equipment amnesty programme.”