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Returning equipment you no longer need

Returning Equipment Panel

Living independently at home often involves using assistive equipment to maintain your comfort and safety. However, situations change, and equipment you once relied on may no longer be necessary.

When to consider returning equipment

Life circumstances can change, and equipment that once played a vital role in your daily life may no longer be needed. 

  • Improved mobility: If your physical condition improves and you no longer require a walker or other mobility aid, returning it allows others to benefit from its use.
  • Equipment damage: If your equipment becomes damaged or unusable, returning it ensures it's disposed of responsibly and doesn't pose a safety risk.
  • Moving house: If you're downsizing or moving to a new residence with different accessibility features, you might no longer need certain equipment.
  • Death of a loved one: Sadly, when a loved one passes away, returning their assistive equipment allows it to be used by someone else in need.

Benefits of returning equipment

Returning equipment you no longer need offers several benefits:

  • Helps others: Your used equipment can be a valuable resource for someone else in Plymouth who requires similar assistance.
  • Reduces waste: Properly returning equipment ensures it's disposed of responsibly and doesn't end up in landfills.
  • Saves resources: Returning equipment allows it to be refurbished or redistributed, reducing the need for the production of new equipment.
  • Creates space: Getting rid of unused equipment frees up space in your home, potentially making it feel less cluttered.

Returning NHS-provided equipment

The National Health Service (NHS) often provides various equipment to individuals needing support at home. If you no longer require NHS-supplied equipment, it's crucial to return it properly.

  • Contact your local NHS Trust: Contact your local NHS Trust to inquire about the return process. The phone number for your local NHS Trust might be found on the paperwork that came with the equipment, or you can search online.
  • Arrange collection: The NHS Trust will typically arrange for convenient collection of the equipment from your home.
  • Ensure proper condition: Before collection, check the equipment for any damage and report it accordingly.

If you have been issued an aid or piece of equipment from the council, please call 01752 668000, and a member of the adult social care team can advise you. 

Returning mobility aids

Mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches can be expensive. Returning these items allows them to be reused by others in need. 

  • Local charity shops: Many charity shops in Plymouth accept donations of good-condition mobility aids. These shops often refurbish or clean used equipment before reselling it at affordable prices, making it accessible to those who might not be able to afford new equipment.
  • Equipment reuse programmes: Some organisations specialise in collecting and redistributing used mobility aids. Researching online or contacting local disability charities might reveal such programmes operating in Plymouth.

Returning daily living aids

Daily living aids encompass various tools that assist with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, or eating. These items may no longer be needed as your condition improves or due to lifestyle changes. Here are some responsible disposal options:

  • Local council recycling centres: Most council recycling centres in Plymouth accept certain types of daily living aids for recycling. Check the council website for a list of accepted items and any specific guidelines for disposal. Items made from plastic or metal might be recyclable, while those containing fabric or electronic components might have different disposal instructions.

What not to do with unwanted equipment

While returning equipment is the most responsible option, here are some things to avoid:

  • Leaving equipment on the street: Unwanted equipment left outside creates clutter and potential safety hazards.
  • Throwing equipment in the bin: Most household bins are not equipped for bulky items like wheelchairs or walkers. Additionally, certain equipment components might contain materials that require proper recycling procedures.
  • Trying to sell damaged equipment: Damaged equipment poses a safety risk and

Additional things to consider

Here are some additional points to keep in mind when returning equipment:

  • Data security: If any equipment you're returning stores personal data (e.g., some communication devices), ensure the data is properly wiped or erased before returning it.
  • Cleaning and sanitization: Especially for mobility aids and daily living aids that come into contact with the body, consider cleaning and sanitising them before returning them. This demonstrates respect for the next user.
  • Missing parts or accessories: If the equipment is missing any crucial parts or accessories, inform the collection personnel when arranging the return.
  • Documentation: If you have any paperwork or manuals that came with the equipment, it's helpful to include them when returning it.

Where to buy equipment to help you complete your daily tasks

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.



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