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Taranaki DHB Calls For An Urgent Equipment Return

If there’s hospital equipment at home you no longer need, now’s the time to take it back. The Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB) is urgently recalling the equipment from former patients as stocks available are running significantly low for new patients.

Each month TDHB issues an average of 600-650 physio and occupational therapy aids for short-term use.

Jacqui Herrett, TDHB Allied Health associate director, says it’s a big job following up around 7500 pieces of equipment a year.

"We have so much out there and it would be great to get it back before Christmas," she says.

There’s a massive range issued for independence but most lacking are crutches, frames, walkers, shower stools, toilet frames and raised toilet seats, Jacqui says. TDHB purchases 800 sets of crutches a year and there are less than 100 currently available for patients.

"The return of equipment is often a bit slow but we normally get enough back to keep the supply chain going. But recently the balance has really tipped." If people are concerned they are still using their equipment and have had it for more than six months then we can arrange long term loan equipment, she says.

The problem has been compounded by the supply chain being affected by COVID-19, as there isn’t the same volume of new equipment available. TDHB is also doing more surgery to catch up after COVID-19 lockdown so there’s more equipment being issued.

DROP OFF AND LONG TERM EQUIPMENT

At the time of issuing, equipment forms with a map are given to patients asking them to return the equipment within weeks or months to the ‘stores’ area at the rear of Base Hospital or Hāwera.

At New Plymouth people can take their equipment to the Stores area at the rear of Base Hospital where it’s easy to drive up and drop off without needing to park. Or they can take it to the main entrance reception.

In South and Central Taranaki equipment can be returned to the main entrance of Hāwera Hospital and the Stratford Health Centre.

If someone is really struggling to return equipment to the hospital, a home pick-up can be arranged.

To swap equipment for long-term aids or make arrangements for pick-up, contact TDHB equipment coordinator Tony Mackrell through the hospital switchboard, on 06 753 6139.

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