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The College of Podiatry's response to 'A Healthier Wales' report

The College of Podiatry’s response to ‘A Healthier Wales’ report

The College of Podiatry welcomes the Welsh Government’s report ‘A Healthier Wales: our Plan for Health and Social Care’, launched today.  This sets out a bold vision for the re-design and focus of healthcare services in Wales, including the full integration of health and social care and a focus on prevention and early intervention, in order that people can be supported to live full, healthy and active lifestyles.  As the professional body for podiatry in Wales (and the rest of the UK), we are committed to supporting the podiatry workforce to play its full part in contributing to this vision and excited to see the results that this will bring for patient care.

The College of Podiatry agrees that a greater focus on prevention within health and social care services will be critical to improving patient outcomes.  As the population grows older, more and more people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause a range of acute problems, particularly in the feet and lower limbs.  It is vital that these patients have early access to the right healthcare professional at the right time.

The College of Podiatry’s Chief Executive, Steve Jamieson commented:

“All too often, patients are accessing healthcare services too late, for example, when presenting with limb and life threatening diabetic foot ulcers.  This results in unnecessary amputations and reduced quality of life.  By focusing on and investing in prevention, patients will be able to access podiatry and other healthcare services before severe acute problems develop, improving quality of life and reducing the burden on secondary care.”

The report makes clear that clusters of primary and community care providers will be developed in Wales so that healthcare is brought closer to where people live. 

The College of Podiatry’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Lawrence Ambrose, said:

“Podiatrists are well placed to support this initiative as first point of contact practitioners within primary care.  As experts in all aspects of the lower limb, Podiatrists can assess, diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and prevent disease and complications of the feet and lower limb, including musculoskeletal complaints which account for 20-30% of all GP consultations.  Furthermore, Podiatrists can increase capacity within primary care settings through their ability to prescribe independently and train primary care teams to screen patients for diabetic foot ulcers.”

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ross Barrow at The College of Podiatry on 07979 498 808 or email RB@scpod.org

About The College of Podiatry:

The College of Podiatry is the academic authority for podiatry in the UK, and an independent charity dedicated to foot health research, education and public awareness. The College is the public-facing and academic arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – the professional body for the UK’s registered podiatrists. Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the foot and lower limb.