Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 13 January 2020

Such a waste

We just got along the seafront before the road was closed today as Storm Brendan passed through.   This was the scene 20 minutes later ....(photo stolen from my friend Clare on Facebook)

I hope you've not been too battered where you are ...

Thank you for all your lovely messages of support on my last blog ... we're both very tired and of course Tom is shattered emotionally and physically... however ill, or whatever the relationship, it is tough losing your mother.

Like everybody I know I'm trying to be more concious of what we throw out in our house ... particularly following Kezzie who regular posts very useful updates on how she's changing her lifestyle.  Thanks for all the hints Kezzie. 

In light of that, when clearing out Dorothy's house for sale, we've been really shocked at all the paraphenalia associated with old people that is given freely by the National Health Service but is then thrown in the dump.   Someone came to remove the stair lift and when Tom asked how it'd be resued, the engineer said, no way, it'll be taken to the dump.   We'd been informed that it cost £5000 when it was put in and he was removing 4 that day and does similar work each day.   That is shocking and the NHS is in such crisis ... The same is done with wheelchairs, zimmer frames, walking sticks and on and on.   A physiotherapist I spoke to said they're not allowed to take back walking sticks even if they've only been used for a couple of days!  We can buy reconditioned cookers and fridges and lots of other things - Surely the NHS should be able to employ someone to recondition a lot of these things.  And look at all the medicines that are prescribed, then changed or left behind when someone passes on but the pharmacies aren't allowed to take them back ... It is awful ... something must be done about it.

Anyway rant over.

Any suggestions? Are there any initiatives where you live?  We heard of one person here who collects these things and brings them by truck to Romania ...

And briefly back to the weather ....


  1. I used to work in a doctor's surgery and it was a well known fact that approx 4 million (yes that is correct) pounds worth of drugs go to land fill every year- the returned, unused, out of date, surplus medication of patients. It used to be legal to send to third world countries (along with glasses and crutches) as long as in good condition and still within the use by date - until the government put a stop to that.... My mother had crutches post knee surgery and she tried to return them - to be told to 'just put them in the bin' by the nurse - when challenged the nurse replied that it was cheaper to buy new than it was to collect used (but perfect) crutches, sterilise them and rebag them up for the next patient. stupid stupid stupid world we live in.

  2. That is simply appalling to waste that much money. Here in the states, we do have medical supplies stores that often rent out items like that. Once done, they will happily take them back to reuse again. Judging by your post and the above commenter, I wouldn't doubt that they would do something like that with hospital beds after people wad used them for hospice, etc.

    With drugs, I believe that most of them are tossed/trashed. Only the non-consumable kind would be eligible for donation (e.g. needle tips for insulin epi-pens).

  3. I am baffled as to why these things cannot be cleaned and then reused. That is a terrible waste of resources and money, especially as you say the NHS is under so much pressure. It is a sad indictment of the world we live in.

  4. Hi Fil - I know ... I find it really odd ... but I guess if someone had something happen to them - be it infection, cuts ... then there's trouble brewing. It does seem a great waste - but costs more than replacing newer versions. It's an odd life ...

    Those gales didn't really reach us here ... thank you for keeping them away! All the best to you both - cheers Hilary

  5. I heard of a pilot scheme quite a while ago but can't remember where it was. Community centres were collection points for no longer required accessories and the NHS were to pick them up every so often and disabled persons were given work cleaning them and making good for re-use by the aid of workers offering support and improving self esteem and combating isolation and loneliness.
    I never saw it again so thought that perhaps it had no gone ahead or wasn't deemed cost effective.
    We've got high winds and heavy rains at the moment. Lots of branches off trees along the main road as I was driving home.

  6. That is absolutely ridiculous that they aren't used!!! What a waste! That's the same as medication from people who have died - often it has been stockpiled and all has to go out!
    P.S. The kids are really loving the Birds song and some of them would like to buy the book so I will try to give them your link! I did tell them to google it but I expect they have forgotten!


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