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1. Why are these changes being proposed?

There is growing demand for Podiatry Services in Kirklees and changes are needed to improve access and frequency of podiatry appointments for patients with high medical and/or podiatric needs.

2. Why is there such high demand for podiatry services?

An increasing number of younger people are developing diabetes and presenting with foot health problems, whilst at the same time the ageing population is increasing in size. Alongside this, the service needs to follow the latest advice for people with high clinical needs. Prioritising patients with high medical and/or podiatric needs will avoid more costly invasive surgery that carries greater risks, and will give patients a better quality of life fora longer period of time.

3. Why are high risk patients being prioritised?

People living with conditions such as diabetes are up to 30 times more likely to have an amputation compared with the general population. The majority of diabetes related amputations are caused by a foot ulcer failing to heal and it is estimated that 61,000 people with diabetes have afoot ulcer at any given time. Regular appointments with the Podiatry Service ensure that foot ulcers are detected early or prevented. The Podiatry Service is not proposing to solely prioritise diabetic patients but is proposing to prioritise those with the greatest medical and podiatric need, whether that includes a diabetes diagnosis or not.

4. How will you ensure the new proposed service is fair?

The proposed new model will be based on clearly defined eligibility criteria (based on clinical evidence) ensuring the service is fair.

5. How much does a typical private sector podiatrist appointment cost?

The cost can vary between £15 and £35. It is recommended that a fee is agreed before committing to an appointment.

6. Has this happened elsewhere in the UK?

Yes, many other areas have already made these changes including Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and Wakefield.

7. What happens if I am no longer eligible to receive podiatry care?

Everyone would be individually re-assessed by the podiatry team to decide if they are eligible to receive care. If not then we are looking at various options to include: attending a training and education session to educational leaflets/video clips including information on problems to lookout for and what to do when they arise, option to buy approved tools to support self care at cost price, option for one final session 6 months later to support and review confidence in managing own footcare, patient signposted toward other foot care providers in the area.

8. Will anything be happening to the locations in North Kirklees?

No, we provide podiatry clinics in three locations in North Kirklees and there are no plans for this to change in the future.

9. Where would Wound Care Clinics take place in the future?

Currently all wound care clinics in Greater Huddersfield are provided at Princess Royal Health Centre. If these proposals are approved we will look at options to hold clinics in other locations as well as Princess Royal.

10. How would this affect housebound patients?

Patients who are a housebound will have an assessment and if they are not eligible will be discharged from the service. If they are eligible for care they will still receive a home visit.

11. Is this a cost cutting exercise?

No. We need to ensure that services are available and provided to those with the greatest need.

12. If I am discharged and then develop a foot problem what will I do?

All patients that develop foot problems can be referred to the service by their GP and the podiatry service will assess their need via the access criteria.