When a woman needs a medical appliance, she’ll need to call her local NHS to find out how to donate it
When a young girl needs a hospital gown to help her cover up the bruising on her head, the NHS will often refer her to the local charity to donate the gown.
But if she has a medical condition that prevents her from being able to afford a gown, or if she is in a wheelchair, then the NHS can’t help her.
So instead, a woman might need to visit a charity or shop in the street to find a suitable gown.
It is a process that can take a long time, and in some cases, can be very expensive.
The NHS is trying to change this, with a new initiative, which has recently been launched in the US.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of women who are referred for prosthetic-type medical appliances to donate,” says Dr Elizabeth Bowerman, who leads the NHS’s prosthetic surgery department.
She says that the new initiative will allow women to donate their prosthetic equipment in the same way as they would use a regular dress code.
“It’s a really simple way to make sure we get the prosthetic that’s right for her,” she says.
The scheme is the latest attempt by the NHS to reduce the amount of plastic waste in its supply chain.
As well as helping to reduce waste in the supply chain, the new system will also make it easier for women to see a specialist when they need surgery.
NHS head of prosthetic and health and wellbeing Dr Jane Collins says that there is a lot of pressure on surgeons to make surgical gowns as comfortable as possible for women who have limited mobility.
“[But] the fact that there’s a way to donate your prosthetic device so that you don’t have to leave the hospital, or you don, can make a big difference,” she adds.
More than 3,000 surgeons across the UK have signed up to the scheme, which also includes prosthetic prosthetic limbs.
The organisation hopes that the number will rise to about 3,400 by the end of 2020.
This article originally appeared on BBC World News.