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Help the NHS get medical and community equipment back so it can be re-used

Would you like to be part of a group helping to improve the process for returning community equipment across County Durham and Darlington?


It is important that community equipment, such as walking aids, commodes and cushions, are returned after use so they can be re-used and do not go to waste. Thousands of pounds worth of unused medical and community equipment goes missing each year across County Durham and Darlington. Replacing equipment which has not been returned to the service is more costly, whereas re-allocating used equipment to other service users is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Health and social care professionals, with the support of the current local provider, Medequip, are looking for people to join a co-production group to discuss community equipment. We are considering improved ways of getting equipment that has been loaned out, returned, and back into circulation. Co-production is when service users, carers, and health and social care professionals come together to improve and develop services, rather than staff making decisions alone.

How can you get involved

We would like your help in improving the design of the process to encourage service users and carers to return equipment that is no longer needed. Do you have ideas that could help? Such as:

  • Should we have collection points in supermarkets or at council refuse sites?
  • Should we run an appeal on social media, for example; Facebook or Twitter?
  • Should we enlist the help of the local media, such as the newspaper or radio?

Get involved

To discuss any ideas you might have, we are hosting a co-production meeting in mid-November. You can attend online or in person. The group values the opinions of service users and carers. All are welcome and your time will be appreciated.

The deadline for submitting your expression of interest was 5.00pm on Monday 15 November 2021.