Northumberland County Councillor Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for adults' wellbeing, with Joint Equipment Loans Service Manager, Antony Manley; Deputy Manager Alan Dodds and Colin Patterson.

Northumberland invests in industrial disinfection machine to improve recycling

Northumberland is set to benefit from a state of the art industrial cleaning machine which will enable independent living equipment to be recycled and reused.

Northumberland County Council’s Joint Equipment Loans Service provides more than 58,000 pieces of community equipment to people in Northumberland each year to help them to live safely at home.

The service recycles 75% of the equipment to help reduce its carbon footprint, however its previous machine was 18 years old and at risk of breaking down beyond repair.

Cllr Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for adults' wellbeing said: “The new machine will enable equipment to be cleaned more quickly so residents receive the equipment they need in a timely manner.

“And improved design efficiency means a reduction in chemicals and water usage.

“Importantly this machine will protect our ability to provide a first class service supporting people to return home safely after a stay in hospital or to continue living independently in their own home.”

The machine is used to wash and disinfect as many pieces of daily living equipment as possible, including commodes, toilet frames, bathing and showering equipment, so they can be re-used by other people.

Last year the service recycled almost 30,000 returned items which would otherwise have had to be scrapped.

The new machine, which is expected to last for at least 20 years, will provide increased capacity to allow the service to recycle even more efficiently.

The service is jointly funded by Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), whose responsibilities have now been taken on by the North East and North Cumbria ICB.

Cabinet members approved capital expenditure of £125,000 funded by the former CCG to replace the old machine.

Rachel Mitcheson, service director for integration and transformation for Northumberland, said: "We are delighted we were able to support the purchase of an industrial cleaner to further support the work of the Joint Loans Equipment Service.

“The service supports many people to remain independent in their own homes, through the provision of equipment to assist with walking and other daily tasks, such as getting out of bed, toileting, and bathing. This machine then enables the recycling of the equipment when it is returned and no longer required.”

Equipment is loaned free of charge following an assessment by a health or social care professional. People can request an assessment by calling 01670 536400.

Equipment that is no longer needed can be returned to the service by calling 01670 730595 to arrange a collection, or direct to the JELS warehouse at: 43 Colbourne Crescent, Cramlington, NE23 1WB.

Further information about the service is available here or in this short film.
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