HEREFORDSHIRE residents are being urged to return unwanted medical equipment for reuse.

Wye Valley NHS Trust and Herefordshire Council are calling on county residents to back the 'Hand it Back' campaign, created because there are millions of pounds worth of equipment on loan in the community, some of which may no longer be needed or used.

Councillor Paul Rone, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: "There are thousands of pieces of equipment out there in the community that could be reused by someone in need.

"I am urging residents to take a few minutes to look around their homes, sheds and outbuildings for borrowed equipment with the NRS Healthcare barcode on it and to encourage friends and relatives to do the same.

"If people have an elderly relative, it can be worth having the conversation with them to find out if they have any items lying around the house that should be returned.

"Unfortunately, the cost of replacing unreturned equipment ultimately falls to the local taxpayer, costs which could easily be reduced if borrowed equipment is returned as soon as it's no longer needed."

Each year, equipment including walking frames, wheelchairs, crutches, beds, chairs is often discarded by people who no longer need them.

Reusable, borrowed equipment is also often sold in charity shops and at car boot sales or only being used once and then thrown away with the household refuse or taken to the Household Recycling Centre.

Many of these items could easily be recycled for another patient to use.

Returning equipment means that thousands of items will be found new homes instead of ending up in landfill, saves on the cost of replacement and helps more people to maintain their independence and may mean they are able to stay in their own home, instead of being admitted to hospital or a care home.

To arrange the free collection of unwanted equipment, contact NRS Healthcare on 0300 100 0045 or email

Alternatively, return the item directly to NRS Healthcare at Unit 3a, Thorn Business Park, Rotherwas, HR2 6JT between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Walking aids can also be returned to any hospital in the county.