New community equipment ‘amnesty bin’

A new ‘amnesty bin’ to make it easier for people to return on loan community equipment like walking frames and crutches has been installed at a household waste recycling centre in Harrogate.

It follows talks between Medequip Assistive Technology Ltd – which issues community equipment to patients on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and clinical commissioning groups in the county – and Yorwaste which manages the area’s household waste recycling centres.

In addition to the new amnesty bin at Harrogate’s Penny Pot Lane recycling centre and three amnesty bins at York Hospital and Friarage Hospital in Northallerton there are plans for a further depository at one of the household waste recycling centres in Scarborough.

Medequip’s North Yorkshire Operations Manager, Darren Clark, said: “It’s not as simple as knowing where the equipment is originally deployed – equipment may be lost, passed on to another family member or even put away in a loft.

“We realise we need to get the message across to people that it is important to return these items, but we also recognise that we have to make it easier for people to arrange collection or to return the equipment to an accessible location.”

Community equipment like walking frames, sticks, crutches and other daily living aids costs the NHS and local authorities millions of pounds every year. Unfortunately, a lot of this equipment never finds its way back to the issuing authority, where it can be cleaned and safely reused.

A Return, Reuse, Recycle campaign originally instigated by Medequip in partnership with West Suffolk NHS back in 2017 has been taken up by North Yorkshire County Council and clinical commissioning groups in York and North Yorkshire. The county council and local NHS are hoping to see recycling rates increase significantly as a result of this initiative.

Dr Charles Parker, the clinical chair elect for North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Increasing the number of places where people can deposit unwanted equipment like crutches and walking frames is a huge positive.

“Much of the equipment that’s returned is in a good condition and can be cleaned, serviced then reissued to someone else in need. The objective is to continue to deliver cost-effective, efficient and safe community equipment solutions which help the NHS budget go further.”

Cllr Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Services, said: “The county council, in conjunction with our CCG partners, are always looking for opportunities to encourage and enable people who have been issued with equipment to be able to return this for recycling, repair or disposal.

“As such we have been keen to promote the ‘Return Recycle Reuse’ campaign in conjunction with CCG colleagues and our integrated equipment provider, Medequip, and prevent equipment being discarded or left unused.”

All equipment delivered by Medequip on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and clinical commissioning groups in York and North Yorkshire is accompanied by a leaflet with full details on how to return the items once they are no longer required, and every item carries a barcode label which also features a collection telephone number and a unique identifying code.

In addition to the amnesty bins, equipment can be returned to Medequip’s drop off points at Dunslow Court in Eastfield, near Scarborough and Manse Lane in Knaresborough.

Alternatively, Medequip will pick up some loan items for free – call 01423 226240 or email

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Healthy Hearts website launched to help people in Scarborough and Ryedale

A new website has been launched to help improve heart health among people living in Scarborough and Ryedale.

The Healthy Hearts website is designed to help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack among people considered to be most at risk, and reduce the number of people dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease – a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.

The website has been created to help people living in Humber, Coast and Vale – a region which covers Hull and East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, Vale of York, Scarborough and Ryedale.

More than 220,000 people in the Humber, Coast and Vale area are affected by high blood pressure, while around three in 10 people (more than 72,000) have undiagnosed high blood pressure. More than 32,000 people living in the area have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and almost 30,000 people have experienced a stroke or mini-stroke.

The Humber, Coast and Vale Healthy Hearts website contains a wealth of information about how people can reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including advice about healthy eating and exercise. It also features interactive tools, with users able to use the website to determine their high blood pressure risk.

The website forms part of collaborative efforts by healthcare organisations in the Humber, Coast and Vale area to reduce the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease. They are committed to improving the health of people who have cardiovascular disease, or are at risk of developing it, as it remains one of the most significant health challenges in the area.

More than a quarter (26%) of all deaths in England in 2017 were caused by cardiovascular diseases, with coronary heart disease and stroke accounting for the majority of those deaths. Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, but it can often largely be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG Governing Body Member and Lead for Cardiovascular Disease, said: “Heart disease and stroke are two of the biggest ‘killers’ in Scarborough and Ryedale. Often linked to smoking and obesity, it’s imperative these issues are tackled.

“The new Healthy Hearts website will be important resource for GPs and other healthcare professionals, while giving people the tools and confidence to make those all-important lifestyle changes.”

Alex Seale, Senior Responsible Officer for Planned Care at the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “The Humber, Coast and Vale Healthy Hearts website will become a key asset to healthcare professionals and patients to help reduce instances of cardiovascular disease in our communities.

“Heart disease remains a significant challenge for health organisations within the Humber, Coast and Vale area but one we are determined to overcome by working with healthcare professionals and members of the public alike to enhance cardiovascular disease education and improve cardiovascular disease detection.

“Heart health should be everybody’s concern so visit for information on how you can improve your heart health and take steps to protect against cardiovascular disease.”

For more information, visit

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