This site is intended for health professionals only

Better foot care needed for Diabetes

Inadequate foot-checks are being given to those with diabetes claims new research.

Diabetes UK conducted an online survey of 6,696 people with diabetes. They found that 32% were not informed about their risk levels at their annual foot check.

The same number also said they were not given adequate advice about foot care and 18% did not have their feet checked for corns, calluses and changes in shape.

The report raises concerns that if people are having inadequate foot checks then they are being put at higher risk of amputation. Currently 8% of diabetes related amputations could be prevented.

As part of its Putting Feet First campaign, Diabetes UK is calling for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to offer better training to clinical staff.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The annual foot check is very much a first line of defense against amputation, and clearly it is not working as well as it should. We know that early treatment can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding amputation, so it is vital that we take action to address this.

“We want the NHS to ensure that everyone who carries out the foot check understands how to do it and has the time to do it properly. The check must also include telling all people with diabetes about their level of risk of foot problems so they are properly informed and supported to take care of their feet properly.”

Currently 8% of diabetes related amputations could be prevented.

Respondents of the survey also claimed that they were not given enough information about why foot checks were done and that 62% of those considered 'at risk' were not referred to a podiatrist as recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

A further one per cent were not even asked to remove their socks during the checking process. One respondent said: It would appear that if you pass the foot touching with a 'stick' test, then all is fine, regardless of the fact that you have pain in the feet and numbness in the toes