Returning Equipment

I posted a while back about getting a Walker (Rollator). A request was put in by my physio (MS Centre) and, eventually, I was visited by another physio for an assessment. He then ordered the walker but, when it was delivered a week later, it was the wrong one. The chap who delivered it said I could try it out and I could then contact them to come and collect it if it didn’t work out. There is even a sticker on it with a phone number

Imagine my surprise when I phoned and was told that they don’t collect items under a certain value. I spoke to the chairman of the local MS Society branch and, apparently, this is very common. No wonder so much NHS cash is wasted!

I seem to remember a similar problem after my dad died (not of MS). He had a lot of bits and pieces, such as a bath seat, and a V-shaped support cushion they just didn’t want to know about.

I think my mum put them in the jumble eventually.

Looking back, some of them might have been useful for me, and I remember even thinking so at the time. But, I was not diagnosed, or even being investigated back then, and had nothing officially wrong with me, so how could I say to Mum I would really like a lot of disability stuff? She would have thought it was just excessive sentimentality, and I wanted them because they’d been used by Dad, and not because I had any actual need of them. I would have had difficulty explaining it myself. How can you say: “I just feel they might come in handy”? I definitely would have liked that bath seat and the cushion - but then I would have had the problem of getting them back to Bristol, and I don’t drive, so doubt I could have managed it on the train, and they would have cost a fortune to parcel up and send. So Mum probably did the right thing.

But I do remember thinking: “Such a shame, I wouldn’t mind those myself”. A very odd thing for a “fit and well” person to be thinking, so obviously I can’t have been fit and well.


My son has a hip disease since he was 10. At the time we had a childrens NHS bed, wheelchair, toilet seats etc. He is now 15, still disabled but has obviously outgrown those items.

The problems I had returning the equipment was horrendous. In the end I told them I am putting the bed on my drive, if it gets stolen its their problem. They did in the end collect it but I still have the wheelchair etc. I will give them to my local children’s charity as obviously the NHS don’t want them.

It seems such a waste of money for this equipment to not be used by other NHS patients as no one will collect it!!!

One hopes that they’ve done their cost/benefit sums and found that it just isn’t worth their while below a certain value. It is easy to imagine the cost of arranging collection/arriving to collect/rearranging because the person wasn’t home/arriving to collect again/booking in the system/storing/checking each piece thoroughly for safety and signing it off for re-issue/moving and storing and matching with a new owner/issuing and all the paperwork associated with all of the above etc etc. It isn’t so hard to work out why the break-even value would be surprisingly high!

Maybe they just can’t be bothered, but I think it more likely that it just isn’t good use of resources to collect and recycle low value items. It goes against the grain though - particularly for those of us brought up to deplore waste!


Am I right in thinking that you’re not allowed to sell this kind of equipment on?

I know some was donated in to the charity that I used to work for, and the other girl there was insistent that we couldn’t sell it, but I don’t know if that was actually true. That was a Rollator, that had a label with a number to call for it to be collected too, she rang it and guess what, they didn’t want to know!

If these things have so little value…


My question is, if hey are of so little value, why put that sticker on them.

As for expensive, the one they sent me is £42 on Amazon.

I wonder if the stickers are just a bit of outdated legislation. Hmm, like how places want a utility bill as proof of ID still, when these days a significant percentage of people don’t get paper bills any more.

Could well be.

I’ve never had to return anything I’ve been given by the NHS or social services. Even though in every case I’ve been given a sheet of paper with information about the equipment belonging to xxx not to me, and that when / if I no longer need it it must go back to them.

So valuable they’d rather it was sat in my shed rather than cleaned and reused.

Oh well.


Just two comments:

1 - In my area, Medequip who deliver all the NHS appliances are very good at collecting them. You might wait for a week to ten days, but collect them they do.

2 - I did see (a few years back) an OT coming into a hospital with an armload of elbow crutches. She obviously thought it was worth the effort of collecting them.

From the viewpoint of OTs and physios, it is a lot easier to hand out a “freebie” than to go through the process of prescribing one.



i was asked by the daily mail if they could do a story on my ms journey, please go have a look. It is ok the daily mail web page, in the female section.

Lets raise the awareness of ms.


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Well, my lovely wife wrote an email to the company concerned and they collected the walker this afternoon.

Just got to wait for the correct one to arrive, whenever that will be.

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When my husband got a hip replacement he got a few mobility aids through the hospital that treated him and when he was finished with them he took them back to the hospital. One of the items was a raised toilet seat, if I knew I was going to need one of these five years later I would have held on to it.

Mags xx

Just to update, the correct one (Topro Troja) is being delivered this Thursday Had to figt for it though!