A Practice manager at a Leeds GP surgery promoting a crutch and wheelchair amnesty injured her leg after filming for a TV programme – and is now on crutches.
Liz Scott, who runs Arthington Medical Centre in Hunslet, ruptured her Achilles tendon exercising shortly after filming a piece for BBC’s The One Show, which was encouraging to people to return medical equipment to prevent shortages.
She said: “It couldn’t be more ridiculous. You couldn’t make it up.”
The One Show is running a Crutch Amnesty to combat the problem of patients failing to give back medical kit such as crutches and wheelchairs.
Latest figures show the issue cost the NHS £14m last year and so the programme decided to start a campaign to raise awareness.
Liz started her own drive to collect medical equipment at the surgery, describing it as a huge problem.
She said: “In 2012, Leeds Teaching Hospitals spent £100,000 on crutches. They held an amnesty that year and got 120 pairs back.
“It’s just dead money because people are taking things and not giving them back.
“Even if an individual bit of equipment might only cost £25, if you multiply that between 7,000 GP surgeries across the country it mounts up, so every little helps.”
She added that sometimes it was difficult for patients to return equipment like crutches, zimmer frames or leg braces to hospitals and wanted to make it as easy as possible.
“We are collecting equipment on behalf of the hospitals and then either the Leeds Equipment Service will collect it and take it back, or I will drive it up there.”
Anyone can drop off small, portable equipment at the centre on Moor Road.
Hundreds of people have contacted The One Show since its crutch amnesty began.
Arthington Medical Centre is due to feature on the One Show this evening at 7pm. (Jan 11)
BIG RESPONSE TO AMNESTY
Presenter Kevin Duala said more than 500 emails were received when the first film on the campaign was aired last year.
He added that he was delighted the Leeds centre were running their own collection drive. “It’s really inspiring to me and it makes me think that if even half of the GP practices nationally did this, just think of the money which could be saved.”