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.