Darent Valley Hospital has reaffirmed its position on crutches after it spent thousands of pounds a month to replace missing equipment last year. 

The hospital said a post asking for asking former patients to return equipment has recently resurfeced - and said returning equipment could save them money. 

At some points last year, the hospital was spending £2,000 a month replacing missing crutches. 

Darent Valley A&E, which treated on average 366 patients a day last winter, has said that patients can return the equipment to their reception desk.

A spokesman for the hospital said: "Returned crutches are cleaned and refurbished and given a quality checked before re-assigning to other patients. 

"We are currently not short of crutches, although returned crutches do help us save money."

Every item A&E receives back saves money, which could then be spent on other emergency equipment.

Last year, the government faced pressure to block a £42 million funding gap in Dartford's health services when a motion was passed by Dartford Council.