The NHS has been criticised for not providing the recommended level of foot care services for people with diabetes.
The College of Podiatry has released a report called ‘Podiatry: Driving Value, Improving Outcomes’, which highlights how the NHS is failing to deliver the level of footcare services outlined by health watchdog NICE.
NICE recommends that people with diabetes who are at a moderate or high risk of getting a foot ulcer should have access to specialist care and offered a tailored package of care. However, the report says about 30 per cent of clinical commissioning groups, which are largely responsible for care outside hospitals, do not have a Foot Protection Service.
The College of Podiatry chief executive Steve Jamieson said: “NICE guidelines exist for a reason. They are developed to provide healthcare providers with sound evidence-based advice on best and cost-effective practice.
“The report shows that expert services such as podiatry are being sidelined, against NICE advice, and we believe that healthcare providers and policy makers need to recognise the role of podiatry in supporting their prevention and early intervention public health agendas, and take NICE guidance more seriously.”
The College of Podiatry now wants podiatry care to be pushed up the NHS agenda in a bid to improve people’s lives and save the health service money.
Jamieson said: “We need to see a change in the way care is provided to people with a whole range of lower limb conditions. Best practice is not about reinventing the wheel, it is about adopting good ideas. This report sets out the simple measures that could make the difference in three areas that impose a huge cost burden on the NHS across the UK and ruin countless lives.”
People with diabetes are advised to check their feet daily for signs of damage and to ensure they receive annual foot checks with their doctor. Additionally, keeping blood glucose levels stable is essential for lessening the risk of foot-related complications such as diabetic neuropathy.
Originally published by Jack Woodfield at diabetes.co.uk
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