Reference 2017-325

REF:            2017-325

Subject:        Re-use of adaptive aids




Please could I ask, as a Freedom of Information request, whether your Trust has a process in place for the retrieval and re-use of adaptive aids, such as walking aids, wheelchairs and so forth, that are given to patients for use on a temporary basis.

I ask because I have twice had occasion to use crutches and have been able to return them, however I understand from others that many hospitals do not accept crutches and other aids back, and I wonder how common this is.




We at Bolton FT, encourage the return of all temporary walking aids such as Elbow Crutches, sticks and frames.  Recently we have had a push through the media to ask for the return of walking aids which are no longer being used.  All walking aids that are returned are  checked for damage and if are suitable to be used again are cleaned and reissued.   Unfortunately we are not in a position to actively retrieve any walking aids that are issued due to the large amount that we give out.

All walking aids can be returned to  the original point of issue, Bolton One or Physio Department in N Block at RBH.


The FT Wheelchair Service does not offer wheelchairs on a short term loan basis – we only provide wheelchairs to patients requiring them permanently, to meet all of their mobility needs. Social services cover short term loans for basic wheelchairs (e.g. post-surgery as part of rehab.).


Return of wheelchairs from our service (usually if a patient is deceased) – we actively retrieve any such chairs, which are then repaired / refurbished as required and then re-used.