In 2018, England’s health minister called on NHS staff to accept and reuse patients’ unwanted medical equipment, but is it as simple as that in practice?
The return and reuse of equipment depends on factors specific to each local area. Not all equipment suppliers or local council waste collection services have the same rules. Individual services or trusts have different policies and procedures based upon their own risk assessment and the methods that are available to recondition or service equipment.
If you are interested in the reuse of equipment, the CSP recommends establishing a pilot scheme to develop policies specific to your local area.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- who needs to be involved – ie therapy managers, supplies department, transformation team, infection control – and how will you communicate with them?
- which equipment you should reuse? You might want to start
- with crutches or frames.
- who is responsible for what? Roles may include collection, cleaning and assessing equipment.
- do you have any data to work with? For example, will this initiative save money?
- how will you promote your initiative? i.e local media, social media and posters around the hospital.
If you have implemented a successful reuse scheme, please share your learning via iCSP on the effective practice forum. (member-only log in required)
Alex Nambyiah is a CSP professional adviser
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