Healthcare professionals say ulcer prevention podiatry programme “essential”

A comprehensive programme of ulcer prevention is essential in order to dramatically improve patient care, a survey has found.

Delegates, consisting of podiatrists, specialist diabetes podiatrists, GPs, surgeons, consultants and orthotists, attending the Malvern Diabetic Foot Conference took part in a wide-ranging questionnaire carried out by global medical products company Algeos.

Among the key findings were:

  • 93% want to see a podiatry programme of ulcer prevention as opposed to an emphasis on treating those with wounds;
  • 88% believe there is a lack of preventative advice/education after a patient is diagnosed with diabetes;
  • 83% say a patient has diabetic foot as soon as they are diagnosed with diabetes;
  • 51% believe ulcers are completely preventable with the right prevention care programme in a multi-disciplinary setting;
  • 81% say better education is essential;
  • 64% want better communication;
  • 47% believe too much focus is put on wound care when, in many cases, it is too late.

A number of delegates added their own comments to their questionnaires. Statements included: “There needs to be a complete change in approach to DFU detection and prevention”, “We need a targeted programme of communication and education”, “Diet education should start at birth but we need the help of food manufacturers” and “We need greater Government recognition and support”.

One experienced podiatrist stated: “We have become firefighters. The emphasis has been lost on early health education”.

Diaped, the leading diabetic foot care brand owned by Algeos, was the Platinum Sponsor at Malvern.

*The survey findings are based on submitted questionnaires by 60 senior industry figures, including podiatrists, specialist diabetes podiatrists, GPs, surgeons, consultants and orthotists, who attended the Malvern Diabetic Foot Conference.