83  Medical equipment

Many of us will at some time need to wear spectacles, or as patients may have temporary need for walking aids, commodes, wheelchairs, etc.  Ultimately however, the need passes and an opportunity may then arise for reuse. 

Sadly, many wheelchairs or other items, issued originally by the NHS (and so still technically owned by them) end in landfills. Your local hospital or Red Cross office may be delighted to see them again.  Some other options are also listed.

Also see
Clinical and veterinary waste (62)
Auction houses (110)

Alphabetical list of organisations

Access Unlimited
Tel 01235 834664 / 01865 775854
143 Hollow Way, OXFORD

Specialist in nearly new electric scooters and weekly hire.

Age Concern (Oxford)

Tel 01865 771517
45 Upper Bar, Templars Square, Cowley, OXFORD OX4 3UX

Reception centre for hearing aids and spectacles.

Aldous J F Ltd

Tel 01206 251040 Fax 01206 252226
Unit H1, Plough Road Centre, Great Bentley, COLCHESTER, Essex CO7 8LQ

Sale and Purchase of new and used electric scooters and wheel chairs.

Associated Stairlifts

Tel 01455 840919 Freephone 0500 300461
Unit 4, Wood Street Industrial Estate, EARL SHILTON, Leics LE9 7N

Sale, rental, installation and maintenance of new and used stairlifts.  Purchaser of used equipment.  Nationwide service.

Tel 01507 528500   Fax 01507 528528
Email info@balcan.co.uk  Website www.balcan.co.uk
Banovallum Court, Boston Road Industrial Estate, HORNCASTLE, Lincs LN9 6JR

Crushing and destruction of hypodermic needles, syringes and vials.  Process recognised by WHO and PATH.  Manually operated: can be used by anyone,  and can destroy needles and syringes at a faster rate than devices that accept singly fed needles.  Can also destroy blades of some sizes of disposable scalpel.  

Lamp recycling service for fluorescent tubes and all other types of waste lamp - whole or pre-crushed.   National coverage.  Lamp recycling plant produces some of the cleanest glass available from lamp recycling, and has markets for all by-products.  Offers clients several options for waste lamps, including lamp crushers, on-site lamp disposal & lamp recycling (Sustainalite accredited); also storage containers for fluorescent tubes and other types of waste lamp.  Developer and producer of 8 types of lamp crusher.  For description of process see Balcan entry in section 68.
  (Updated Aug 2005)

Bedford Mobility

Tel 01234 266666  Fax 01234 217622
Windsor Road, BEDFORD MK42 9SR

Sale and hire of wheelchairs and all types of disabled equipment.  Will consider purchase of unwanted powerchairs, scooters and stairlifts in good condition.

Bee Mobile

Tel 01223 246425 / 01223 213042  Fax 01223 212165  
Email beemobile@lineone.net 
8 Seymour Street, CAMBRIDGE CB1 3DQ

Sale and hire of wheelchairs, scooters, stairlifts, level access showers, walk-in baths, kitchen and bathing equipment (including lifts, stools and boards), and other equipment and vehicles for the disabled.  Will consider purchase of unwanted power chairs, scooters or stairlifts in good condition.  (Updated Sep 2004)

British Red Cross

Tel 01234 349166  www.britishredcross.org.uk
99 Ashburnham Road, BEDFORD, Beds

Charity providing loan of medical equipment for temporarily disabled patients.  Unwanted equipment in good condition welcomed, particularly self-propelling wheelchairs, metal commodes, walking aids (crutches, sticks, zimmerframes - prefer them with 2 wheels or none), bathing aids (bathboards, seats, showerstools), 'helping hands' etc.  No electrical items.  Charity shops accept miscellaneous non-electrical items in good condition for resale subject to health and safety checks.

BEDFORDSHIRE: centres that take medical equipment for reuse at 232 Dunstable Road, Luton (01582 732471); Unit 11, Billingdon Road, Leighton Buzzard (01234 349166).  Charity shops at: Bedford (01234 352735); Dunstable (01582 699293).

HERTS: County branch Baker Street, Hertford SG13 7HT (01992 586609, or 585963 Beverley Bussolini).  Centres that take medical equipment for reuse at Abbots Langley, Berkhamstead (also shop), Bushey, Chorleywood, Croxley Green, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Potters Bar, St Albans, Welwyn. 

BUCKS (No walking aids, but raised toilet seats accepted): County branch 123 London Road, High Wycombe HP11 1BY (01494 525361). Centre at Weston Turville, nr Aylesbury (01296 612778).  17 medical loan centres and 7 shops; health authorities also take reusable medical equipment for sorting and reissue.

Also centres and shops in Essex, Berks and Oxfordshire.  (Updated Sep 2004)

Buckingham Engineering Company

Tel 01908 221102  Tel / Fax 01296 720800 
Old Leighton Farm, Mursley Road, Stewkley, LEIGHTON BUZZARD, Beds LU7 0ES
Contact  Peter Preston, Director

Dealer in new, used and reconditioned electric wheelchairs and scooters, lightweight and sports chairs.  Repairs done and stairlifts fitted.  May purchase unwanted items.   (Updated Sep 2004)

Clearing House, The

PO Box 4, Oundle, PETERBOROUGH, Cambs PE8 5TG

The Clearing House helps charities to share information, especially about product donations. Redundant goods are frequently offered to charities. A homeless charity, for example, may be offered 200 beds, but be unable to use them all at that time, and cannot afford expensive storage. Some donations of surplus products, eg food, have a short shelf-life, presenting distribution problems. Many companies grow weary of constant telephone calls and associated hassles, and may withdraw from the donation process altogether. The Clearing House, supported by numerous charities upon which it relies, co-ordinates company giving and supervises the logistics of lorries collecting donations, monitoring delivery. During its pilot year the Clearing House redistributed an estimated 300 tonnes of hygiene, food, material and medical products worth about 1.6 million.

Clinical Disposals Ltd

Tel 01376 326111 / 326882 Fax 01376 345584
6-8 East Street, BRAINTREE, Essex CM7 3JJ

Specialist in medical, clinical, feminine hygiene, hazardous and difficult waste collection and disposal, including unused drugs. Salvage, reuse and recycling of items of medical waste wherever possible. Will consider requests for medical aid.


Tel 01923 681800  Fax  01923 682400
Email  info@demand.org.uk  Website www.demand.org.uk 
The Old Chapel, Mallard Road, ABBOTS LANGLEY, Herts WD5 0GQ
Contact  Andrew McBeath,  Director 

Charity meeting need of disabled people on an individual basis.  Medical professionals and Demand designers and craftsmen create special furniture and equipment for children and adults with serious disabilities, often when no other solution exists, eg mobility, seating, bathing aids, sleeping, opportunities, recovery.  Repairs and improves existing equipment; provides advice and assistance in locating equipment; makes equipment unique to patients' needs, after assessing requirements with parents, carers and medical specialists.  Assists in locating others who might help with a specific requirement.  Maintains  equipment they provide.  Produces solutions in collaboration with other charities, to increase geographic reach of capabilities.  Ring if you need equipment.  Patron Esther Rantzen.  (Updated Nov 2005)

Easy Mobility Ltd
Email valerie@easymobility.co.uk or info@easymobility.co.uk 
Tel 01234 854954 / 01923
Call Centre (servicing repairs and sales)  34 Johns Avenue, KEMPSTON, Beds MK42 8JL
Head Office 46 Station Road, ADDLESTONE, Surrey KT15 2AF
Contact  Valerie Dodds

Services and sells all mobility products, including scooters, powered and manual wheelchairs, bath lifts, electrical and adjustable beds and chairs.  Will part exchange equipment.  If can't help, will try to pass people on to someone who can.  For an independent write up on how they can help, see www.yourable.com , click equipment, and see right hand side: Mobility For All (sister company).  Takes mobility equipment, even if very old, and reuses the parts for the many people still using such equipment - including parts no longer manufactured or hard to find.   (Updated Sep 2004)

FMS of Ruislip

Tel 01895 622268  Fax 01895 625446  Email info@mobilitycentresuk.com 
76-78 Victoria Road, RUISLIP, Middx HA4 OAH

Supplier of most mobility equipment for the elderly and disabled.  Purchaser of used vehicles, including scooters and wheelchairs .  (Updated Sep 2004)

Herts Mobility Centre

Tel 01438 861628  Fax 01438 861785
98 High Street, WALKERN, Herts SG2 7PG

Sale and hire of wheelchairs, disabled and nursing equipment, stairlifts and vehicles.  Will consider purchase of unwanted items in good condition.

Keep G, Wheelchair Repairs

Tel 01865 747960 Fax 01865 714851
Relay House, Sandy Lane, Cowley, OXFORD

Agent for new and reconditioned powerchairs, scooters and manual chairs.

Kidmans Surgical Chemists

Tel / Fax 01234 354090  
141-143 Castle Road, BEDFORD MK40 3RS

Sale and hire of wheelchairs and disabled equipment.  Will consider purchase of unwanted items such as wheelchairs, power chairs, adjustable armchairs or scooters in good condition.  (Updated Sep 2004)

MD Electrical Company Ltd

Tel 01992 558432  Fax 01992 553492
Email md@md-electrical.co.uk  Website www.mdstairlift.co.uk 
Unit 10, Mead Business Centre, Mead Lane, HERTFORD SG13 7BJ

Stairlift installation and maintenance.  Purchase of secondhand units.  Electrical contractors - items taken, repaired and reinstalled.  (Updated Sep 2004)

Medical Aid for Poland Fund

Tel 0207 373 5464  Fax 0207 373 5464
Email medaidpoland@yahoo.com Website www.medicalaidforpoland.freeserve.co.uk 
16 Warwick Road, Earls Court, LONDON SW5 9UD

Unwanted medical or hospital supplies and redundant equipment (except drugs) gratefully accepted, including wheelchairs, bath hoists, spectacles, colostomy bags.  Nearly new clothing and bric a brac for charity shop Tel 0208 579 1114 (100 South Ealing Road, London W5 4UG).  Collection may be possible for large or good quality items.  Staffed by 3 paid workers (2 shop, 1 office), and over 30 volunteers.   (Updated Sep 2004)

Mercury Recycling Ltd

Tel 0161 877 0977  Fax 0161 877 0390
Email info@mercuryrecycling.co.uk  Website www.mercuryrecycling.co.uk 
Unit G, Canalside North, John Gilbert Way, Trafford Park, MANCHESTER M17 1DP

Collection and recycling nationwide, through a network of collectors or directly, of fluorescent tubes, and all forms of lighting, lamps and bulbs.  Also deals with other waste that bears mercury, such as button cell batteries (particularly from hearing aids), thermometers, dental amalgam.  Only UK company with the equipment (made in Sweden) to recycle lighting by separating components - mainly glass, metal and mercury (predominantly fluorescent tubes).  Byproducts go to other industries for use as raw materials or further recycling.  Website states mercury from one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe level for drinking.  Plant opened 1998.  Further information under 68 Fluorescent tubes.  (Updated Sep 2004)


Tel 0208 558 1354
758 Leabridge Road, Walthamstow, LONDON E17 9DN

Sale and purchase of wheelchairs and scooters.

Tel 0845 130 0456  Fax 0845 130 0789
Email  mary-ann.mitchell@remap.org.uk
D9 Chaucer Business Park, Kemsing, TN15 6YU
Contact  Mary-Ann Mitchell, National Organiser 

National charity with experienced volunteer mechanical, electrical, electronic and computing professionals who make free gadgets, aids and devices for people both young and old with various disabilities, to help them have a better lifestyle.  Operates through network of 1,500 volunteers.  Recipients (ring if you need equipment) are referred to 100 panels in UK of professional engineers, technicians, craftspeople, and medical staff from community services and hospitals.  Yearbook showcases examples of work by the panels.  Each year Remap turns out 2m worth of free individual aids, unavailable elsewhere.  It is cost-effective, and the engineers also think 'green' when choosing materials for the job.  A defunct dishwasher or old car parts will, in skilled hands, often become components of aids that open up new horizons for many hundreds of disabled people.  Example on website of a cycle made for a man with no arms.  Will modify equipment to suit need at no charge.  Every 100 donated enables 2,000 worth of lifestyle enhancing equipment to be produced.  REMAP = Rehabilitation Engineering Movement Advisory Panels.  Eastern Region Paul Turner, Tel 01480 464283, Email info@remap.org.uk  South East  Mr G Meekums OBE, Tel 01732 866105, Email meekums@gmeekums.fsnet.co.uk   North Herts  www.remapherts.org.uk/nherts  John Toll, Tel 01462 435151 / 640645  South Herts www.remapsherts.org.uk  Tel 01442 212855, Email panel@remapsherts.org.uk Contacts on website for other regions.  (Updated Nov 2005)

Richens Mobility Centres Ltd
Tel 01865 769778
2 Windmill Road, Headington, OXFORD OX3 7BY

Dealer in new and used electric wheelchairs and scooters, and mobilisation equipment. Full aftersales service. Also at Bristol and Swindon.

RJ Mobility

Tel 01480 437575
Head Office, 12 Brookside Centre, Temple Farm Industrial Estate, SOUTHEND, Essex SS2 5RR

Supplier of new and used electric wheelchairs, scooters, stairlifts, mobility aids etc. Purchaser of used equipment. Local network of advisors.

Roehampton Rehabilitation Centre

Tel 0208 789 6611 switchboard / 0208 788 7245 / 0208 355 2756 direct line
Queen Mary's University Hospital, Roehampton Lane, LONDON SW15 5PR

Recycling scheme for artificial limb joints returned to local hospitals, enabling use in developing countries. Contact Rehabilitation Services Ltd.

Sweden Recycling International AB

Tel (0046) 477 20000 Fax (0046) 477 20557
Box 60, S360, 13 URSHULT, Sweden

Manufacture and market dental surgery amalgam separation equipment and provide a waste collection and (mercury) recycling service based on sealed receptacles which are exchanged at 6-12 monthly intervals or as required. Since 1985 over 10,000 installations have been completed in Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Universal Mobility
Tel 01582 487878
Unit 2G, The Gallery, Arndale Centre, LUTON, Beds LU1 2TW
Contact  Dawn

Secondhand wheelchairs, scooters and stairlifts available.  (Updated Nov 2005)

Vision Aid Overseas

Tel 01372 360822 Fax 01372 360823
56-66 Highlands Road, LEATHERHEAD, Surrey KT22 8NR

Collection of spectacles for dispensing to needy in developing countries, by volunteer optometrists and dispensing opticians on short-term projects. Also provides training for indigenous staff.