Case Study: Diabetic foot care videos

Putting knowledge in patients’ hands to:

  • Standardise information about foot ulcer prevention and care
  • Encourage self-care
  • Help staff reach their 48-hour referral targets
  • Reduce the number of preventable amputations due to infection

Overview

The podiatry department at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is looking to improve care for diabetic foot ulcer patients in the region.

These patients have an annual diabetic foot check appointment at their GP practice. During this session, they are given their risk level of developing an ulcer:

  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Ulcer

‘High’ and ‘Ulcer’ patients should be referred to podiatry within 48-hours and receive treatment quickly to avoid possible amputation.

Impact

Videos to describe different stages of foot ulcers

48 Hours is the target referral time for diabetic foot ulcer patients

Problem

Currently, ‘High’ and ‘Ulcer’ patients are not being referred in the desired timeframe.

This delay means that the chance of patients requiring amputation due to infection, instead of other treatments, is much higher.

There is also an issue that people with diabetes do not always know how to identify ulcers or care for their feet properly. This lack of understanding allows ulcers to develop to the point where they’re hard to treat.

Solution

Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust commissioned four videos from Health & Care Videos as part of the National Diabetes Footcare Audit (NDFA).

Each video will describe one of the risk levels in detail and offer self-care advice. The ‘High’ and ‘Ulcer’ videos include a sentence saying that patients will be referred to podiatry ‘immediately’.

Patients will be shown this video during the patients’ annual appointment. They will also be given a PDF printout with information about foot care and a QR link to the videos on it.

Key Results

The podiatry department hopes that this intervention at the GP stage will help prevent foot ulcers from developing becoming infected and requiring amputation.

As we have only just integrated these videos into the pathway, there are no results from this intervention yet.

At the end of the project, we will compare Torbay’s footcare performance to NICE clinical guidelines to determine the impact of the videos.

Potential positive results include:

* Fewer foot amputations due to infection

* Better self-care techniques

* Reduction in number of ‘High’ and ‘Ulcer’ patients

* Improvement in capacity for both GPs and podiatrists

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