ALMOST 8,000 pairs of crutches remain out on loan from St Mary's Hospital — and the Isle of Wight health trust wants them back.
The trust has today (Wednesday) appealed to anyone who has been issued with crutches, walking frames or other support aids to return them, providing they are no longer needed, for the benefit of other patients.
For every 50 pairs issued, only ten are returned, and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust spends thousands of pounds every year on replacements.
Integrated community equipment manager Brian Martin said: "Crutches and other walking aids are provided on a short-term loan basis to NHS patients and should be returned when they are no longer required so they can be refurbished and reissued to others who need them.
"There are currently 7,935 pairs of crutches which have been issued and not returned. More than £10,000 has been spent purchasing new crutches over the past year and this is money that could be spent on other frontline services.
"Usually it is just a case of forgetfulness but we really need to have them back."
Equipment can be returned to St Mary's or the trust's community equipment service, at Newport Business Park.