Decluttering? Do check for forgotten commodes

"Now where did I put that hoist?"

"Now where did I put that hoist?" - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We’ve all borrowed a book from a friend, then forgotten to give it back. Turns out some of us have also been a bit forgetful when it comes to slightly larger items, and Hertfordshire Equipment Service (HES) would like them back.

“Do you have any commodes cluttering your cupboards? Or a hoist hiding away that needs a new home?” they politely enquired last week. Unless your home’s seriously gigantic, it’s unlikely a commode has been forgotten about entirely.

The service, which is jointly funded by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), provides equipment to residents as part of a care package, or to help those with disabilities and sensory impairments.

Apparently, borrowed equipment has been re-purposed in the past, with one commode being used as a flower pot. Buying an actual flower pot would be a better idea, surely?

HES loans around 70-80,000 piece of equipment to more than 25,000 people each year, about a quarter of which is never returned. This adds over £2 million to council healthcare budgets.

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, urged service users and their relatives to get in touch if they have any equipment they can return.

“This will help HES provide vital assistance to those in need, helping them to live independently in their homes, while reducing costs for Hertfordshire’s taxpayers,” she said.

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Next time you’re having a clear out, be sure to check for forgotten toilet frames, bathing equipment and hoists – all such easy things to misplace.

If you find any equipment, contact HES to arrange collection: via email on, or by calling 01707 292555.