Footcare commissioning guide released
Healthcare commissioners are being called upon to prioritise diabetic footcare following the release of an online commissioner’s guide.
The College of Podiatry has launched the document that exposes – in detail – the comparative rates of amputations across England and is calling on commissioners to take action and help end the postcode lottery of avoidable amputations.
On a daily basis there are 23 people with diabetes in England who will have a toe, foot or leg amputated. It is thought improving the way diabetic foot health is commissioned and delivered, around half of all diabetes-related amputations could be avoided.
Dr Paul Chadwick, consultant podiatrist and clinical director of The College of Podiatry, is a leader in the field of diabetic footcare and was instrumental in developing the toolkit resource.
Dr Chadwick said: “The findings of this new commissioning resource shine a spotlight on the stark differences there are in amputation rates between regions – differences that signify a deep human cost for patients and their families as well as a huge cost burden for our already stretched NHS foot services.
“It is time for commissioners to increase investment in foot protection, to make sure we reduce these unnecessary and appalling personal and financial costs for patients and the NHS.”
The average Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) spends around £5.7 million a year on diabetic foot problems; more than the combined cost of the four most common cancers. Reducing the prevalence of severe ulcers by one third would reduce the cost of ulcer care by around £1 million a year per CCG.
The online toolkit resource will support CCGs in England to commission improved services for diabetic foot disease. It provides information on:
- the impact of diabetic foot ulcers and amputations on patients’ lives and on NHS costs
- the potential for improved care to transform lives and reduce NHS expenditure
- what good care looks like and how to restructure services and pathways
Beverley Harden, allied health professions lead at Health Education England, which funded the resource, said: “Getting diabetic foot care right for people and their families is an essential part of improving lives and preventing avoidable limb loss. People not only lose limbs, they can lose their livelihoods, their independence and sometimes also their life. By working with the College of Podiatry, we want to support the workforce to ensure a positive change in the landscape of diabetes foot care right across England.”
To read the document, click here.