How and where to return community equipment so it can be recycled and reused?
Community Equipment in Devon is jointly funded by the NHS & Devon County Council and is provided, on their behalf, by Millbrook Healthcare Ltd, who recycle and reuse as much equipment as possible. The service excludes Plymouth City and Torbay Council areas.
Most community equipment is provided on loan, but some may be provided via a “retail prescription” from a local pharmacy or mobility shop, which means that the equipment belongs to the individual, so they can choose to keep the equipment or return it if they no longer need it. Small items of equipment which are permanently fixed to homes, like grab rails and hand rails, whether loaned or provided by prescription, are not collected and recycled.
When equipment is returned, the NHS & Devon County Council save money by reusing the equipment, wherever practically and economically possible. Any equipment that can’t be reused because it is too old or worn, is offered to charities where appropriate, or recycled for its metals and plastics, with no items going to landfill.
The Community Equipment Service does not routinely collect a single low cost item of equipment from an individual’s home as it is not economically viable to collect, clean and refurbish a single low cost item such as a walking frame, shower stool or stick.
These smaller items of equipment can be taken to local collection and recycling points, from which Millbrook make frequent and regular collections.
If equipment is to be collected from a persons’ home, there is a minimum value for the total of all the items of equipment to be collected. This is set at £30 as this is the level that makes sure it is economical for Millbrook to make a collection, clean and refurbish the items.
Collections with a total (or single) value of over £30 from individual homes are usually carried out within 5 working days, but this can be arranged sooner with Millbrook, if there is a bereavement for example. If someone is unsure of the value or wants to arrange a collection they can contact Millbrook:-
Telephone: 0330 124 4491
If a person has a small item of equipment which they no longer need and are unable to take the equipment to a local collection or recycling centre, or they don’t have family or friends who can help them, then a local voluntary group or charity may be able to assist.
If the persons needs have changed, they should contact their health or social care professional to review their equipment.