NHS Crutches surprise

After my knee replacement in February, I was given 2 sets of crutches one for top of stairs & one for the bottom, that never really worked out as I found I only needed one set.

Anyway, when I felt recovered enough to stop using them I assumed I would just hand them back for someone else to use. I was very surprised to be told they would just be destroyed as they could no longer be used by anyone. This is because someone had a fall whilst using crutches that were previously owned & now they cannot reuse them!

What a waste of money, can this really be the case across all the NHS Health Authorities? I wonder how much money it costs to give out brand new crutches for individual use only?


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 826

    It is a shame - all that money wasted. It is the same with medication. Just taken a load back to the pharmacy for a friend who doesn't want it and all they do is destroy it. Unopened packets.

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  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016

    Mad isn't it?

    Just hang on to them and maybe you can pass them on to someone who needs some temporarily? Like when they've had a fall and not got any? @MissA

    @noddingtonpete please don't do the same with your friend's medication😉😮

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 387

    Hi all

    I was up at my local hospital today visiting one of my physios (I'm lucky enough to have two - don't get jealous lol) and seeing a pile of crutches I asked her about hospitals not accepting crutches back. My hospital do accept them but they have to be manufactured by NRS so it's not all hospital's that don't take them back. I'm not sure what the difference is.

    Love n hugs


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    Perhaps they have a contract with NRS to be sole provider and 'checker/repairer' of any crutches. That would mean, I'd guess, that the NHS wouln't be responsible for any claims. Just a thought

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  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 387

    Hi @stickywicket

    I did a quick google search on why crutches weren't being taken back by hospitals and one option was that it cost too much to clean and service returned crutches which sounds about right - maybe a c.b.a.attutude by those decision makers? It may also be that my hospital has a contract with their supplier that they return to them and return they're returned after being cleaned and serviced for a nominal charge which would explain why they only take back NRS ones? A lot of different scenario's but I'm pleased that my hospital recycles theirs!

    Love n hugs


  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 412
    edited 12. Jun 2023, 18:01

    @stickywicket @Trish9556 Its funny that during the pandemic with a known deadly virus and no vax in sight, hospitals and Trusts had become amazingly good at sterilising even single use PPE, and rapid sterilisation of entire rooms, and even competed with each other on who could be more innovative. They used UV-C/D light to kill off all organisms so no harsh chemicals or scrubbing needed (of course the light had to be used with care ie on equipment & never on skin).

    Manufacturers came up with new rapidly produced prototypes within a week… even had car makers switching to ventilator production… hard to believe it’s more expensive to clean crutches (and other such equipment) than to buy new… I still keep my walking stick in case I need it again in the future!

    @Trish9556 I think the Chief Execs of Trusts need a dose of common sense from you trusty rubber gavel ! 😄

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 387


    I think the management of the NHS may need all three mallets!