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Press release

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Lions do the walking for patients to save thousands of NHS pounds


Exeter Lions Club has stepped in to make it easier for Royal Devon & Exeter hospital patients to return NHS crutches, walking sticks and frames.


Lion's crutch campaign photoThe charity volunteers will be collecting the returned equipment from local GP surgeries and community hospitals across East, Mid and West Devon.


Fellow Lion Angie Whawell came up with the idea of ‘letting the Lions do the legwork’ after breaking her ankle and experiencing first hand, as a former RD&E patient, the practical obstacles and disincentives in rural Devon which makes it difficult to get the walking aids returned to the hospital.


Angie of Crediton said: “When you have had a nasty break it knocks your confidence and although you are on the mend, part of you thinks you should hold on to the crutches just in case you have a setback. For many people living in outlying towns and villages, making a trip back to the RD&E to return the crutches is not always so easy.  I would imagine there are hundreds of crutches, sticks and frames out there and they belong back at the hospital so we hope by making it easier for people to drop these items off at their local GP surgery or community hospital then the Lions can collect and return them to the RD&E.”


President of Exeter Lions Club Stephan Bouloux said: “We appreciate that the rural nature of Devon and busy lifestyles can hamper the return of this property to the hospital so we have volunteers who are willing to do the running around for former patients to benefit our NHS locally.”


Royal Devon & Exeter Senior Physiotherapist Jane Roseveare said:”We are very grateful to the Exeter Lions for recognising the value of the walking aids we provide and the cost to the NHS when this equipment is not returned. At the RD&E, our Physiotherapy and Emergency Departments issue each year 2,692 pairs of crutches, over 1,000 walking frames and almost 900 sticks. The total annual cost of this equipment is just under £60,000.”


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