Medical Equipment

Department of Health written question – answered on 24th March 2017.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many pieces of medical equipment were (a) unreturned by patients and (b) discarded by the NHS in England in each year since 2014; and if he will estimate the cost of such equipment to the NHS in each such year.

Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, who has responsibility for (a) auditing returned medical equipment and (b) assessing whether such equipment can be reused by NHS trusts.

Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether (a) NHS England and (b) any individual NHS trust has a system in place for receiving used medical equipment from patients.

Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England makes provision to facilitate the transport of returned medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will estimate the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

There is a responsibility on the National Health Service to make the very best use of all resources, including items of medical equipment, which are safe and legally reusable and returnable. Policy on the return of medical equipment is a matter for each individual organisation and should be included in their Sustainable Development Management Plan. NHS England has no generic policy in place for dealing with such matters or for the facilitation of transport to return medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Typically around 60% of medical equipment issued is recovered and reused. However, not all medical equipment is recovered and not all recovered is suitable for reuse. Information about the costs of medical equipment is not collected centrally as many areas have local arrangements for pooled budgets with the local authority under Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 for an integrated community equipment service. No estimate has been made of the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

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