Since the start of 2017 old wheelchairs from Airedale Hospital in Steeton, West Yorkshire have been donated to the Margaret Carey Foundation.
The wheelchairs, were refurbished several times before being replaced by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust when they were then taken to HMP Garth Prison in Chorley where they are stripped down, rebuilt and repaired in the MCF prison workshop.
Once refurbished the wheelchairs were distributed by our partner charity PhysioNet transports in countries including Fiji, Ghana, Benin, Swaziland and South Africa.
Michelle West, mobility services manager at the trust, said its wheelchairs were always refurbished several times before being replaced and would otherwise be scrapped if they weren’t donated to the scheme.
A steady supply of wheelchairs to refurbish and donate benefited both charities and helped reduce the cost to the NHS of scrapping the equipment and it was always hoped that other health services in the region would get involved in the initiative.
The successful recycling partnership between the Margaret Carey Foundation, PhysioNet and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Mobility Services has been submitted as case study to the NHS Sustainable Devlopment Unit. The SDU is a national resource for NHS (and public) and they are very keen to hear from any organisations promoting re-use and recycling. The SDU is also the body regulating NHS bodies towards the carbon emissions and sustainability targets and hopefully this could be the next step to more health services setting up a similar scheme.
The link to the full case study is here