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  • ruminaonac

Lean on me...

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Look I'll admit to being slightly smug about the amusingly shaped traffic jam of mobility aids in our reception area. The kind of thing you might expect to see on the lawn at your favourite National Trust in the summertime as 'family-friendly metal jenga' or perhaps as a piece of modern art in a London gallery, created by a ham-fisted Antony Gormley tribute act. Who'd have thought that our posters, based on an idea from the Patient Participation Group, would have encouraged such a pre-Christmas haul of kit to sally forth from the woodwork? Well, it was amusing for me, but understandably a source of irritation for our hardworking team to climb over on a daily basis. Ahem. Even Santa’s elves are going to have to crack on with presents a-go-go to avoid being left behind in the item count: so far we have seven crutches and sticks, two zimmer frames, two toilet seats, one commode, one toilet grab rail, one walking frame caddy, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ok so no partridges. No birds were harmed in the making of this equipment pile, just my carol-filled brain on overdrive. Honest. Really we’re grateful to all the patients who brought in these items to be recycled by Be Independent and Medequip, so that others can benefit from them. In addition, we have made links with Orthopaedic consultant Mr Sunil Auplish and York Hospital plaster room in A&E, who are going to stop throwing away aircast boots and instead take them to the fantastic Manchester-based charity Orthocycle, who will spirit them away to impoverished countries where orthopaedic tools and supplies are woefully lacking.

The bottom line here is all about waste and recycling. These items were no longer required where they were, but by returning them to stock we can help additional patients, reduce manufacturing costs next time round, and above all help emphasise the mentality of re-using things in every aspect of our lives, rather than simply throwing them away when we're done. Also I hope that York Hospital will change their outlook on crutches, and either develop a recall system or some other means of ensuring that all loaned items are returned. Watch this space as I will update on my haranguing progress...

"So, what’s next for OSMP?" I hear you say. Well we're now focusing efforts on spreading our message to other practices in York and beyond. We recently had a visit from local celebrity, head of the CCG Dr Andrew Lee, and we demonstrated all the improvements we have made. Delia proudly showed him our system for reusing plastic bags for very large prescription items. And we’ve recently started receiving wool-packed boxes of medication, where the wool can be returned in a reverse supply chain. A lot better for the environment, thank you very much!

But as it’s so soft, we may just use it to make Reception into a giant snug...

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