The Northern NSW Local Health District has recently launched High Risk Foot Services at the Tweed, Lismore Base, Grafton District and Maclean Hospitals. Three senior podiatrist coordinators will manage these services. The new services have been added to the Podiatry Assessment HealthPathway.
Diabetes-related foot complications accounted for 40,565 episodes of care in NSW between 2017-2018 and $389m in annual hospitalisation costs. There were 5,187 related amputations, the vast majority of which were preventable.
In metropolitan areas, there are well-established services that provide specialised care for acute diabetes-related foot complications. The aim is for all NSW Local Health Districts to offer access to a Diabetes High Risk Foot Service. There is strong evidence that these services are essential and effective in managing serious complications.
The services will see patients with acute diabetes-related complications of the foot, including foot ulceration, infection and acute Charcot arthropathies. Each service will offer medical oversight and input from multiple medical teams, nursing and allied health disciplines, in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. This provides a specialised service for a specific cohort of patients who will greatly benefit from focused multidisciplinary care.
The services encourage early consultation and engagement. They welcome direct contact or referrals from health professionals for acute lower limb complications, with or without the presence of the comorbidity of diabetes.
To locate service and contact information for referral, access the Podiatry Assessment HealthPathway.