Newham top for diabetic footcare

Diabetics in Newham receive among the best foot care in the country, according to the latest National Diabetes Audit.

The audit placed Newham as one of the top 25 best performers in the country and found that the borough performed extremely well and were singled out for the low number of minor or major amputations that were required.

The high quality foot care, provided at the Newham Foot Care Clinic at Newham University Hospital, is not confined to outpatients; all diabetic inpatients have a documented foot review within 24 hours of admission.

Ron Woollard, a Newham resident and an outpatient for the past six months, said: “Everyone there is very helpful. At each of my fortnightly appointments I see a whole team of people; my consultant, the podiatrist and the vascular nurse. Together they keep me fully in the picture, explaining the treatment and care plan I must follow. I feel really confident that I’m in the best possible hands.”

Michael Van Orsouw, the vascular nurse specialist who runs the clinic, said: “The presence of a multi-disciplinary team is vital to our success. Our team includes a vascular surgeon, a consultant diabetologist, and a podiatrist, in addition to nurse practitioners. The team is available for all diabetic patients whether visiting our day foot care clinic or as an inpatient requiring treatment.

“Of course, it’s not just the specialist team that makes us such a success. We also develop a valuable partnership with each patient. We take a patient centred approach – so that at every step of the way in their treatment, the individual is involved. It’s definitely a ‘no decision about you without’ approach.”

He also stressed the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Michael said: “Every person with diabetes should be able to access a high quality foot care clinic similar to Newham’s clinic. That way two thirds of the 6,000 amputations would be unnecessary.”