Consultation for the Supply and Management of Lower Carbon Walking Aids

Working Towards Circular, Net Zero Carbon Walking Aids

The NHS purchases a large number of walking aids every year, for example crutches, walking sticks, walking frames and rollators. The majority (65%) of these are purchased by individual trusts and other healthcare providers via the NHS Supply Chain Aids for Daily Living framework. 

This framework ends on 31 October 2023 and will be retendered in the autumn of 2022. NHS Supply Chain is taking the end of this framework as an opportunity to review our approach to the supply and management of walking aids in the light of the NHS commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and net zero emissions from the supply chain by 2045.

  • An online market consultation event will be held on 23 June 2022 from 9am – 12.30pm (09:00 – 12:30 BST).

Because these products have been identified as being highly carbon intensive, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) are particularly keen to see progress on carbon reduction. This is coupled with an increasing demand for a more sustainable range of walking aids, without compromise to patient safety.

New mandates from NHSEI have set targets including:

  • A minimum return and reuse of walking aids – 40% by 2025. Returned products will be checked, cleaned and made available for use by the next patient. Procedures and processes will be backed by manufacturer’s instructions – to provide Allied Health Professionals with confidence.
  • All tenders must include a minimum of 10% weighting for social value or net zero – since 1 April 2022.

See our Downloads ▼ section for more information. The consultation document includes additional details on:

  • The carbon impact of the current product range
  • Market dialogue to inform the supply chain of this changing demand and discuss potential solutions
  • A net zero NHS – targets that form part of the overall NHS policy
  • Changing attitudes towards ‘return and reuse’ products and removing barriers
  • Liability and stakeholder acceptability
  • Resource allocation, cost expectations and measurable targets.

Downloads ▼

  • Consultation for the Supply and Management of Environmentally Sustainable Walking Aids

    A PDF consultation document for suppliers with information on the supply and management of sustainable walking aids.