Supporting foot health with new roles in podiatry

Press Release – Waitemata District Health Board

Waitemata and Auckland DHBs are investing in podiatry by creating new positions to work with primary care to ensure earlier interventions and better outcomes for patients with foot issues and diabetes-related foot disease.

The new senior role, Professional Lead of Podiatry, will support patients to get better at home, undertake workforce development, clinical leadership, and oversight for community Podiatrists and primary care professionals.

To aid the Professional lead, an Interim Podiatrist will also be introduced to monitor patients with a high risk of diabetes-related foot disease.

Diabetes-related foot disease significantly affects a person’s physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. Currently people with diabetes have a 25% life-time risk of developing a foot ulcer, with ulceration a frequent precursor to amputation being present in an estimated 80% of cases.

Waitemata and Auckland DHBs are investing in podiatry by creating new positions aimed to reduce the risk and rates of foot ulcers and lower limb amputations related to people with diabetes Professional Lead Podiatry will help building capability of primary care to undertake foot screening and risk assessment for all people with diabetes. The role will also assist community podiatry services to provide appropriate care to people with moderate to high risk of diabetes related foot disease. The professional Lead will also develop quality standards, credentialing framework and provide clinical oversight and support for primary care and community podiatrists.

The new Senior Podiatrist roles will meet the needs of people with healed ulcers who need to be monitored and managed appropriately in the community setting.

These new roles are part of a greater work programme by the joint-Waitemata and Auckland DHB Diabetes Service Level Alliance (DSLA) to develop a single system of diabetes care that aims to improve the health outcomes for people with diabetes across the Auckland and Waitemata regions.

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