Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently attended an event in Westminster to support the launch of a report by the College of Podiatry. The event highlighted the unique role of podiatrists in tackling some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing people in Warrington South.
The report, ‘Podiatry: Driving value, improving outcomes – The vital role of podiatry in keeping our population active – saving lives and saving limbs’ covers three key areas in which podiatrists contribute their expertise and demonstrate their value:
- Diabetes and vascular disease, specifically foot ulceration and amputation prevention, conditions which costs the NHS around £1 billion per year.
- Falls prevention, particularly amongst the elderly, which costs the NHS and social care around £2.3bn every year, and rising.
- Musculoskeletal conditions, which consume around 5% of the NHS budget.
The report has found that early intervention by local podiatrists has the potential to improve mobility and independence in people who experience foot health problems.
- Despite the strong recommendation from NICE, the organisation responsible for producing clinical guidance, a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) carried out in 2017 (with a response rate of 87%) found that 29% of Clinical Commissioning Groups do not commission a foot protection service.
- A further FOI sent to hospital trusts revealed that a third of trusts which responded do not operate a dedicated falls prevention team, and of the 67% that do, only 4% include a podiatrist in that team.
- Podiatrists are under-utilised across the health and care system, avoiding critical chances to tackle problems before they escalate.
After the launch, Faisal said:
“I was delighted to be able to support the launch last week, it is important to recognise the value of local podiatrists who are working day-in-day-out to keep people on their feet, living life independently and to their full potential. I would like to thank all podiatrists, and others working in multidisciplinary health and care teams across Warrington South.”