Accident and emergency staff are asking people who have been issued with crutches but don’t need them any more to bring them back to the University Hospital of North Tees or to One Life Hartlepool’s minor injuries unit.
The trust lends more than 5,000 pairs of crutches out each year and the vast majority of them are not returned.
Each pair of crutches costs around £13, meaning over the course of the year more than £80,000 is spent – money which could be used improving patient care.
Accident and emergency ward matron Stuart Harper and his colleagues decided the only thing to do was declare a crutch amnesty.
He said: “We know that returning crutches is the last thing on anyone’s mind when they’re properly back on their feet again after breaking a leg or foot. However we need the crutches for other patients so we’re asking people to come and hand them in at accident and emergency.
“I’m sure many people put them away in a cupboard and forget all about them, but it’s always worth reminding people to just have a look around the house and hand them in if they have inadvertently hung on to them.”
So, if you’re finished with your crutches please hand them in. Accident and emergency staff will be more than happy to take them off your hands!