Give back your medical equipment

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COUNCIL bosses are pleading with residents to return health equipment in a bid to help ease the burden placed on them by cuts to public spending.

Every year an estimated 20,000 items including specialist beds, mattresses and commodes are given to residents along with a host of aids for daily living to people with various health issues or disabilities.

Now Wigan Council chiefs are asking people to return them to help save further funds. They say around a quarter of items are never returned.

The store, which is funded by the council’s adult social care and health service and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, aims to provide the equipment to improve the quality of life of users and means they can live independently in their homes after they have been discharged from hospital. It also helps to prevent them from being admitted to hospital in the future.

The majority of equipment is issued after an assessment with a professional health worker and is only intended to be handed to the user it was given to.

Those who qualify have the equipment they need loaned to them, for as little as a three month period. They are then reassessed after this period on whether they still need it. If users are told they no longer need it, they, a family member or their carer, should tell the service straight away so that arrangements can be made to collect it so it can be recycled.

Paul Beardsmore, ICES manager at Wigan Council, said: “The ICES work extremely hard to provide residents with health issues a fast and efficient service. However, we face challenges daily on being able to provide the equipment within the time frame provided, as there is a lack of awareness that once the equipment is no longer needed, it should be handed back to us. It is vital we increase the return rate of the equipment to allow us to deliver to even more people.

“If we can increase the amount of equipment being returned, it will help us to further improve the high standard of service we already provide, but also save a lot of money, which ties in to The Deal. If residents return more, it will help to improve the speed of delivery from our service.”

If you have equipment but now no longer needs it, you can contact the store on 01942 737777. or hand it straight in at the store at Martland Mill Lane, Wigan, WN5 0LZ.