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Recommendations issued in foot care audit report

By Editor
19th March 2018

A series of recommendations have been issued on the back of the latest results from the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA).

Less than half of participating commissioners confirmed that all three care structures were in place (47 per cent), according to findings from the third annual report covering England and Wales published on March 14.

One-page summary

The report stated: “Since the first survey in 2015, the NDFA has found that the basic framework for effective prevention and management of diabetic foot disease often seems to be missing.”

However, since it began 2014, the NDFA “has firmly established the relationships between time to first expert assessment and ulcer severity, healing outcomes and hospital admissions”, NHS Digital has said.

The National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA) is a continuous audit of diabetic foot disease in England and Wales. The audit enables all diabetes foot care services to measure performance against NICE clinical guidelines and peer units, and to monitor adverse outcomes for people with diabetes who develop diabetic foot disease. All organisations which provide a diabetic foot ulcer treatment service are eligible for inclusion in the audit.

The audit reports structures, processes and outcomes. As well as a national report, which provides information about foot care nationally, separate local reports are also available. The comparative local reports show data at service (specialist foot care teams), provider (Trust/Local Health Board), commissioner (Clinical Commissioning Group) and network (Strategic Clinical Network) level.

The NDFA is part of the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) portfolio within the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP), commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP).

Recommendations for healthcare professionals

Including podiatrists, diabetes specialist nurses, diabetes consultants and any healthcare professional that works with people with diabetes.

Use the audit findings to encourage commissioners and service managers to ensure a NICE-recommended diabetes foot care service is in place.
Create simple and rapid referral pathways.
Participate in the NDFA to collaborate in this nationwide drive to improve the outcomes for diabetic foot disease.

Recommendations for commissioners 

Ensure your local services have an easily accessible diabetes specialist foot care team. The South East SCN has prepared commissioning guidance and sample service specification which may help in developing these services.
Ensure that your local diabetes specialist foot care services participate in the NDFA to help improve the disabling, lethal and costly consequences of diabetic foot disease.
Appoint a diabetes foot disease lead to work with local providers, to review services and local care pathways and to ensure pathways meet NICE guidelines. Commissioners should use the NDFA findings for their local area as a key part of their gap analysis to understand overall NICE compliance and resource utilisation across their commissioning footprint.

Comments (1)

  1. Teresa Harris says:

    Foot care for diabetics is non existent here in South East Wales not even in our annual revue. GPs and practice nurses just go through the motions and that is all.

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