Calls for action on back of foot audit
People with diabetes need more “proactive rather reactive” footcare, a leading charity has said on the back of audit results.
The initial findings of treatment and outcomes covering more than 5,000 people with a diabetic foot ulcer in England and Wales between July 2014 and April 2015 have been analysed in the first-ever National Diabetes Foot Care Audit.
When two weeks or more elapse between initial presentation and expert assessment, a patient is significantly less likely to be ulcer-free 12 weeks on, according to the survey of clinical care released today.
‘Educated and taught’
Jenny Hirst, co-chair of the InDependent Diabetes Trust, said: “This audit and its finding are a good starting point in recognising the importance of foot care in people with diabetes.
“However, what is concerning, like the recent NICE guidelines, is that there is no mention in the report of prevention. People need to be educated and taught about how to prevent damage to their feet because a proactive approach is always going to be better than being reactive.
“Prevention is the key. There needs to be a system in place where feet are monitored at least every year and when new problems and infections emerge. This year as a charity our priority is to push for better foot care and prevention.”
Around 10 per cent of people with diabetes will have a diabetic foot ulcer at some point in their lives, at an estimated cost of £650 million to the NHS; equivalent to £1 in every £150 spent.
The audit found that around half (2,302) of all patients were ulcer-free 12 weeks after their first expert assessment by a specialist foot care service.
It also found that when two weeks or more elapse between initial presentation and expert assessment, a patient is significantly less likely to be ulcer-free 12 weeks on.
IDDT, an International charity based in Northampton, has over 17,000 members and works across the globe helping families and people with diabetes to manage their condition and live positive, healthy lives.
The charity provides a free, confidential helpline, has published dozens of helpful publications, stages events and lobbies the government on behalf of people with diabetes.