Important trends in footcare have been highlighted in an interval review from the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA).
The report uses data from just over 108,000 foot ulcer episodes in 76,310 people with diabetes in England and Wales, between July 2014 and March 2021.
The key findings include:
- An increase in the proportion of referrals seen by a specialist foot care team within 13 days, from 43 per cent in 2014-15 to 46 per cent in 2020-21
- A linked reduction in the proportion of ulcers that are graded as severe at first expert assessment (FEA), from 48 per cent in 2014-15 to 43 per cent in 2020-21
- A linked reduction in the proportion of ulcers still active (not healed) at 12 weeks after FEA, from 49 per cent in 2014-15 to 40 per cent in 2020-21
- Almost 1 in 5 people (18 per cent) presenting with a severe ulcer died (15 per cent) or underwent major amputation (3 per cent) within one year.
The report goes on to make a series of recommendations to healthcare providers, healthcare professionals and healthcare commissioners, including:
- Ensure that HCPs arrange early expert assessment of all new foot ulcer episodes
- Ensure that healthcare providers and HCPs review NDFA measures for their organisations, including time to FEA, ulcer severity at FEA and 12 week outcomes
- Ensure that specialist clinical services which care for foot ulcers in diabetes are accessible everywhere
- Ensure that healthcare providers and HCPs have effective integration between different clinical groups: in the community and with different specialist expertise
- Healthcare commissioners should ensure that diabetic foot care training and education is available to all HCPs who provide services to people with diabetes and is available across all healthcare settings and services.
View the report in full here.