YORK Hospital has launched a “crutch amnesty” as staff appeal for the return of medical equipment.

The NHS has said items such as crutches which are not brought back, despite patients only needing them for a short time, cost thousands of pounds a year.

Simon Etches, charge nurse in the hospital’s emergency department, said many people forget to return the equipment and asked for them to search attics, garages and shed for the hospital’s property.

He said: “We have noticed our supply of crutches has gradually become more and more depleted, and we just want them back.”

Wheelchairs, walking sticks and walking frames are also being sought.

All equipment can be returned to the hospital’s accident and emergency reception or the physiotherapy and occupational therapy department reception.