Trolley-style coin locks fitted to wheelchairs at Stafford Hospital


Loss and theft of equipment leads to security clampdown

In an effort to keep track of disability equipment, Stafford Hospital has switched to a supermarket-style coin-operated locking system for its wheelchairs.

In the future, to release a chair, users will have to insert a £1 coin or trolley token, which will be refunded once the chair has been returned.

Around 50 of the Blue Staxi Wheelchairs have had the security devices fitted and locking stations have been placed at four locations around the hospital; at the main entrance, in the corridor by reception, and on the first and second floors.

The move is in response to problems with the loss and theft of wheelchairs which left the hospital with a shortage of equipment.

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Chris Eccles, associate director of estates and facilities at the trust, said: “We hope patients and visitors will understand why we have implemented this system. Aside from the cost due to theft, our porters spend a considerable amount of time hunting around the hospital site trying to find wheelchairs, which is not best use of their time.”