A new Foot Protection Team is being launched for Walsall people living with diabetes or at risk from developing the condition in a bid to reduce hospital admissions and amputations.
This new service will be launched on Tuesday 14 November 2017 –World Diabetes Day – by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, and has been developed following feedback from patients. The team will comprise of specialists who work together across both the community and Walsall Manor Hospital to better meet the needs of people with diabetes across the borough.
Walsall Healthcare secured up to £1.2m over two years to improve diabetes care through NHS England’s Diabetes Transformation Fund. The Trust worked with colleagues in podiatry, Public Health Walsall, Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, Diabetes UK and a Consultant from Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust to develop the successful bid.
People will be referred to the new Foot Protection team via their GP and will have access to a range of structured diabetes education programmes as well as specialist support from nurses and clinicians. The team will visit housebound residents who have been referred to the service and will deliver free training to nursing and residential homes to support staff to recognise diabetic foot conditions.
Dr Noushad Padinjakara, Walsall Healthcare’s Clinical Director for Long Term Conditions, explained that last year 120 people had to have hospital treatment, including amputation in some cases, because of a diabetic foot condition that wasn’t treated in a timely manner. At any one time around 22% of patients at Walsall Manor Hospital are diabetic patients.
“Often, referrals into our service are received too late for us to be able to take action to avoid a hospital admission or amputation,” he said.
“Diabetes is a major health concern in Walsall and we estimate that around 2,000 people in the borough don’t know they have the condition and don’t know their risk of developing the condition.
“This Foot Protection Team has been developed to offer the best services that we can for our patients and to ensure our services are flexible. Patients themselves have been instrumental in its development; telling us that they want us to strengthen our focus on preventative measures. Walsall has the third highest rate of diabetes in the country with 8.8% of its population affected compared to the national average of 6%. And this is expected to rise to 10.9% by 2030 making the need for effective care and support a priority.”
Dr Paulette Myers, Consultant in Public Health said: “We are working closely with the Trust and Walsall CCG to transform diabetes prevention and care in the borough and the Foot Protection Team is a vital element in our approach.
“We want to ensure that those at risk of developing diabetes clearly understand the small lifestyle changes that they can make to improve their health."
Do you know your risk?
Are you aged over 40?
Do you have a grandparent, parent, brother or sister with diabetes?
Are you of South Asian, African Caribbean or Black African descent?
Do you have high blood pressure?
Are you overweight – particularly around your middle?
People are invited to pop along to a World Diabetes Day stand in the Main Atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital between 9am and 3pm on Tuesday 14 November for information on diabetes and support for those affected by it.