Shortage fears spark urgent appeal for return of community equipment in Devon

Care bosses in Devon have issued an urgent appeal for the return of walking frames, shower stools, commodes and raised toilet seats.

The county is on the brink of a shortage of the vital items due to a rise in demand because of the coronavirus crisis.

Such kit is often given to people when they leave hospital, or after a period of illness, to help them stay safe and regain their independence.

However,  Devon County Council (DCC) says the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that NHS and social care teams have needed to quickly support a much higher volume of patients with items of equipment.

This has also put staffing pressures on manufacturers and supply and distribution chains are also feeling the strain.

DCC has today (Tuesday, April 14) issued an urgent appealing for members of the public to return community equipment they no longer need.

It says stocks of commodes, walking frames, shower stools, and raised toilet seats are ‘in danger of becoming short in supply’.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for adult social care and health services, said: “Coronavirus has caused a significant increase in the need for vital community equipment.

“If anyone has any of these items at home and no longer uses them, please can they get in touch, so that it can be reused to help those who are in need.

“There is some excellent work going on to support the most vulnerable in our communities during these challenging times and this is another valuable way in which you can do that.”

The council is asking that anyone who has items of equipment they are no longer using to contact Millbrook Care on 0330 124 4491, so that a collection can be arranged, free of charge.

Once a collection is arranged, people will be asked to leave the item outside or in a safe place for collection by Millbrook.

Items that can be reused will be fully tested, refurbished if required, and thoroughly cleaned.

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