Location: North West England
Location: South East Coast
Podiatrists operating in the UK have been issued with a series of actions to improve the care that they offer to their patients, following the publication of the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA).
All Clinical Commissioning Groups throughout the country are meant to have a basic framework in place to ensure patients with diabetes have their foot health regularly assessed, as mismanagement of the condition can result in infected foot ulcers. If left untreated, these can become so severely infected that lower limb amputation is required.
However, the NDFA found that these structures were only enforced by less than half (47 per cent) of the commissioners questioned, who were all based across England and Wales.
The latest publication is the third annual NDFA report, and highlights that there is still a lot of work to be done within the NHS to ensure all diabetic patients are being provided with the appropriate level of foot care.
Indeed, the new 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."
On the back of the latest audit, healthcare professionals are being advised to rectify the shortfalls uncovered in the document by ensuring that they implement the diabetic foot care guidelines recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in their work.
In addition, commissioners are being called upon to create simple and quick referral pathways to ensure patients can receive the assessments and care they need without delays.
The NDFA is also recommending that healthcare providers focus on creating dedicated specialist diabetic foot care teams in their local areas - a move that could see more job opportunities being created for qualified and experienced podiatrists.
Finally, commissioners are being urged to encourage more of their staff members to take part in future NDFA reports so that the results can be guaranteed to be as accurate as possible.
Written by Angela Newbury
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