A survey undertaken at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has revealed nearly a third of its wheelchairs have gone missing since the beginning of the year.
And the loss of 30 out of a total of 100 wheelchairs has lead to a call for a wheelchair amnesty for people who may have taken chairs home and forgotten to return them to the hospital.
Hospital wheelchairs are only for use in the hospital. Patients who do need a wheelchair once they go home will be assessed by an occupational therapist and will then be given a wheelchair by social services or the British Red Cross.
The value of the 30 missing wheelchairs comes to £3,600 (£120 a chair) and the loss of a third of the total is leading to greater inconvenience for hospital patients and staff. The hospital did buy an extra 20 wheelchairs in December, taking the total at the Colney site up to 100.
Hospital spokesman Andrew Stronach: Wheelchairs are vital for many patients who need help to get around the hospital and we’d appeal to anyone who may have kept a hospital wheelchair to please return it to us.
“The loss of a third of our wheelchairs is an inconvenience to patients and staff and we're doing everything we can to make sure our remaining wheelchairs are rounded up regularly and are available to patients.”
- If anyone has a Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital wheelchair they would like to return they can call Norwich 286944 to arrange collection.