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NHS Waste of money and resources

(139 Posts)
GillT57 Mon 21-May-18 19:12:33

I appreciate the problems facing the NHS are myriad; ageing population, drastic funding cuts, expensive advances in medical science etc., etc., aunt has just died. She was 91, had been ill for some time, and after an extensive period of home care/periods in and out of her local hospital, she died last week aged 91. As she had been looked after very well by the community nursing team she had a lot of aids such as raised toilet seat, shower seat, walking frames for inside and outside, bed frames, grabber sticks, things for pulling socks get the picture. When her son called the hospital about these items, expecting to arrange to drop them off, nobody wanted them, nobody was interested, so he will likely take them to the local charity shop hoping they will take them. These items are all in excellent condition, clean and could be re-used. Surely this is a waste of funds, however small a drop it is in the vast ocean of NHS expenditure?

MawBroon Mon 21-May-18 19:16:26

All Paws mobility aids etc such as the things you mention were collected by Millbrook Health Care who had delivered them and will have even steam cleaned and sterilised and reissued by now.
I don’t recognise your scenario.

annsixty Mon 21-May-18 19:24:59

The hospital won't take anything but crutches here,
The charity shops won't take them at all and I was told the only place for them is the tip.
That is where most of them end up.
It obviously varies in different parts of the country.
The chap who delivered ours said no-one will take them here, to just dispose of them.

Mamissimo Mon 21-May-18 19:30:52

Oh that drives me nuts too! I resorted to Freecycle and Freegle when I was trying to return my aids after a period of surgical trauma. I was so pleased to find people who needed my stuff.

tanith Mon 21-May-18 19:32:10

When I had my hips replaced I was told that anything worth less than £100 wasn’t worth while recycling as it cost too much to do it. Someone made use of the toilet raiser but I have 2 grabbers and two lots of crutches it does seem madness.

Welshwife Mon 21-May-18 19:32:31

Similar scenario here in France Maw.

Grannynise Mon 21-May-18 19:33:37

Exactly the same here. We tried for two years to give back various items that my late FiL had been given. In the end we had to dispose of some items. (And now I've just had a hip replacement I wish we'd kept them all! )

Squiffy Mon 21-May-18 19:43:21

A local care home may be glad of equipment. That’s where some of ours went. The rest was passed on to another elderly relative. I couldn’t bear to think of it going to the tip!

humptydumpty Mon 21-May-18 19:44:53

Like Maw, by aids were collected by Millbrook Health Care. Have you contacted them at all?

GillT57 Mon 21-May-18 20:32:32

Millbrook Health Care did not provide the items, they were provided by the hospital local to where my aunt lived. I have suggested to my cousin, her son, that he contacts a local care home to see if they can use them. It does seem such a shocking waste.

Lazigirl Mon 21-May-18 20:40:31

I am surprised that the hospital supplies aids for home use. Here they are loaned out from the Community Loan Scheme and collected when no longer required. I thought this happened everywhere. The exception are crutches and walking aids from orthopaedic and fracture clinic.

kittylester Mon 21-May-18 20:54:48

I think the Red Cross rook some we were trying to get rid of!

Grannybags Mon 21-May-18 21:13:51

The equipment my Mum needed when she lived with us for the last 4 years of her life came from our GP. I think it was the Community Nurse department. The day after she died they were knocking at the door asking for it all back!

Beau Mon 21-May-18 22:51:48

Most equipment does end up dumped - one of the newspapers ran a story about the scandal a few years ago with photos of the mountains of rusting equipment. Pretty typical of the NHS I would say - the right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.

maryeliza54 Mon 21-May-18 23:13:42

I think that’s an incredibly unfair ill informed generalisation about the NHS Beau.

Eloethan Mon 21-May-18 23:17:48

Two comments at the end of a Daily Mail article relating to this subject perhaps give some explanation as to why many pieces of equipment are not accepted back:

"It's really simple. When the product is new, any liability for injuries caused by failure, lie with the manufacturer. How much would you like the NHS to spend on cleaning, sterilising, stress testing & re-furbishing these items?

"Funny isnt it, You lot would be the first to sue if you fell after a "second hand" crutch broke. Anonymous NHS Buyer".

MawBroon Mon 21-May-18 23:27:54

Sweeping generalisation Beau?
As many of us have evidenced, in the words of the song
“It ain’t necessarily so”

maryeliza54 Mon 21-May-18 23:52:22

Another complex subject presented at the level of a two year old by that bastion of intellectual ability the Daily Mail

janeainsworth Tue 22-May-18 00:12:36

After MrA’s hip replacement the numerous aids were supplied by the (county-wide) Community Healthcare Trust and returned to them.
I’m not sure that’s a valid argument -eloethan (I appreciate you were only quoting the article)
Hospitals don’t provide brand new beds or linen for every patient, or trolleys or wheelchairs. They clean/sterilise them and reuse them and check they are fit for purpose. If hospitals are providing equipment for home use they can surely do the same for those items.

Smileless2012 Tue 22-May-18 08:26:50

My condolences for the loss of your aunt Gillflowers.

It beggars belief doesn't it that items such as these are thrown away. I was thinking the same as you janeainsworth, so much equipment is re used and with the financial situation our NHS is in, why on earth is perfectly good equipment consigned to the rubbish dump.

Besstwishes Tue 22-May-18 09:01:09

My SIL had various pieces of equipment when he had a vehicle accident, when my daughter took them back to the supply centre, she was asked to put it all into the skip apart from the armchair with adjustable legs.
Their skip was full of rusty crutches, walkers and plastic bathroom equipment, when she queried why it was being thrown away they just shrugged. This is in the West Country.

Besstwishes Tue 22-May-18 09:02:39

PS the Charity shops and Red Cross werent prepared to accept the items because of ‘Contamination’ and in case the crutches had been damaged.

Lazigirl Tue 22-May-18 09:06:38

When I was working many relatives were unaware that aids used by their elderly relatives were actually on loan from the Community Health Store, so in ignorance they off loaded them to charities etc. People are issued with a paperwork stating this at the outset which no doubt gets lost. It is a nonsense that they cannot be sterilised and used again. It is a pity that this sort of thing becomes a focus of wasting tax payers money when our NHS despite being a huge organisation is one of the best and most efficient in the world. Far better to concentrate on the big issues of financial waste ie contracting NHS services to private companies, often who are less efficient and who can hand them back when they do not deliver expected profit.

MaizieD Tue 22-May-18 09:10:24

The articles you mention, janea are more expensive to replace; there is a cost benefit to cleaning and reusing them. The medical aids mentioned on this thread are probably cheaper to replace than to clean and refurbish for re-use. (This was pointed out already in this thread)

Though I do wonder if any analysis of costs exists and practice seems to vary between areas.

annsixty Tue 22-May-18 09:19:24

The aids both my H and I had were not on loan from anyone.
They were supplied on prescription issued by the hospital and were delivered from the local mobility shop.
It was the driver who delivered them who told me, that after lots of enquiries , they were told used things could not be returned or recycled.