Diabetes footcare services focused where they are needed most in North East Essex

People living with diabetes who are most at risk of developing foot ulcers and infections are experiencing faster appointments for their foot care following changes to the North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) podiatry service.

By re-evaluating each patient’s risk of acquiring foot problems such as foot ulcers or infections, the foot care service has redirected its available resources to those who need foot care most, resulting in better care.

Latest figures have shown that 100% of high-risk patients are now being seen within four- weeks. Before the new system was introduced, waiting times for routine foot appointments were up to 18 weeks.

Patricia Jacques, from Colchester, is a full-time Carer for her husband Christopher, who has been using the service for the past five years and has experienced the changes first-hand.

Mrs Jacques commented; “The changes have meant that Christopher is seen much quicker by the podiatry team, we now have a routine monthly appointment in place.

“These regular appointments have reduced the need for emergency appointments.

“Without the support of the podiatry team my husband would have probably lost his foot”

Louise Roberts, Diabetes Nurse Consultant, said: “The changes have meant that resources are being used much more efficiently.

“Medium and high risk diabetes patients are now able to access podiatry much more quickly, which is avoiding further problems,”

The NEEDS service, which is run by Suffolk GP Federation, is a finalist in the national  Quality In Care awards for the new foot care service.

To find out more about NEEDS services and local support groups for people living with diabetes see www.diabetesneeds.co.uk