HEALTH bosses are calling for forgetful former hop-a-longs to return crutches to hospitals when they can walk unaided.

The minor injury units at Clacton Hospital and the Fryatt Hospital in Dovercourt are holding an amnesty in February for people to return any they still have with no questions asked.

Both facilities are run by Anglian Community Enterprise and minor injury unit leader Lucy Booth said:”We estimate there are hundreds of pairs lurking in people’s garage, shed or under the stairs.

“The problem is people often forget to bring them back when they no longer need them.

“It may sound mildly amusing to be holding the amnesty, but a pair of crutches costs us around £12 which means we are spending thousands of pounds replacing them when the money could be more productively spent.”

Crutches can be returned to either hospital seven days a week between 9am and 5pm.