NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust is calling for a return of an increasing number of missing wheelchairs.

Over the past two years more than 32 wheelchairs have gone missing from North Devon District Hospital. To buy new ones would cost more than £1,100 each.

The wheelchairs are clearly marked with NDDH in white lettering, but this has not deterred people from taking them away.

In addition to transporting patients inside the hospital, wheelchairs are used to carry patients unable to walk to private taxis or ambulances and are often not returned afterwards.

In order to maintain a sufficient number for patient use, the Trust is asking for the wheelchairs to be returned, with no questions asked.

Linda Lewis, hotel services co-ordinator at the hospital, said: “It is clear that the trust cannot continue to fund replacement wheelchairs. We are asking anyone who has seen one of our wheelchairs off site to contact us as soon as possible to arrange for it to be collected.”

To report the whereabouts of a NDDH wheelchair, contact Linda Lewis on (01271) 314055 or email Linda.lewis@sodexo.com