Plea for independent living equipment to be returned in amnesty

Published Friday, 25th October 2019

A service which supports independent living is appealing for the return of much-needed equipment.

Tees Community Equipment Service (TCES) lends equipment and medical aids that assist people with daily living.

The service also works with the area’s acute hospitals to prevent admission to hospital and to facilitate prompt discharge, and is jointly funded by health and social organisations including the Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton Borough Councils, NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Needs are assessed by health and social care professionals prior to providing equipment, however the service relies on users to return items after use so they can be re-used or recycled, helping to extend the service and keep costs down.

Now TCES has launched an equipment amnesty to encourage people to return as many unneeded items as possible.

Examples include:

  • Crutches
  • Walking frames or sticks
  • Beds
  • Mattresses
  • Hoists
  • Cushions
  • Bath lifts
  • Commodes

Community Equipment Service Business Manager Tony Peacock said: “Everyone will be aware of the financial pressures currently facing the NHS and social care, and the Community Equipment Amnesty was one way that our team felt we could help save some money locally.

“We want to encourage everyone in the local community who has community equipment on loan from the NHS or social care which they no longer use or need, to return it to us as soon as possible.

“The return and re-use of community equipment enables us to improve our support for those in need, helping them to stay living at home for longer and preventing hospital admission.

“It can also facilitate a patient’s return home after a stay in hospital by providing equipment to support their recovery after operations or illness, or support their longer term health needs.”

Councillor Sue Little, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult and Community-Based Services Committee, said: “At a time when the NHS and social care in general are under massive financial pressure, it’s vital that this specialist equipment is handed back when it’s no longer required. Please return this equipment if you have any – then it can go on to help someone else in their recovery or help them live more independently at home.”

The TCES Equipment Amnesty will be running throughout November, when items returned will be assessed and safety-tested before either being cleaned, repaired and re-used, or stripped down to be recycled.

Equipment can be returned to the Tees Community Equipment Store, Unit 3, Raleigh Court, Riverside Park, Middlesbrough TS2 1RR, Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm.

Free collection is available for equipment that can't be dropped off – call the TCES free phone number 0800 328 7980 to arrange that. Please mention 'Equipment Amnesty' when contacting the TCES.

Please note that wheelchairs cannot be collected by TCES. If you are unsure whether the equipment belongs to TCES, call 01642 224205 or email