A convenient collection point for discarded Covid and other medical equipment has been set up in Queen’s Hospital reception area for NHS recycling, after a former mayor of Havering was inundated by recovering patients.

Ex-councillor Michael Burton, who was mayor in 2021-22, was contacted by his former constituents in South Hornchurch who didn’t know what to do with things like walking frames and crutches they no longer needed.

“They kept telling me they had old frames and Covid supplies in their garden sheds,” Michael told the Recorder.

“Here we are today with so much NHS paid-for equipment sadly laying around in garden sheds and other places — anywhere but in the possession of those who could make use of them.”

The 69-year-old retired computer manager, who served on Havering Council for 14 years, contacted Queen’s and found out there was a drop-off point in the hospital grounds in Valley Way — but few people knew about it.

He suggested more-accessible collections in the reception area itself to make it easier to leave disused medical aids.

“The thoughtfulness of local people has humbled me,” Michael added. “They contacted me even though I’m not on the council any more.

“I have been busy collecting what is often near-new equipment and returning it to the hospital.”

He took up the recycling idea after seeing medical supply costs soaring during Covid, such as masks and mouth coverings trebling in price during Lockdown.