This is a report in feet for life on why the NHS has had to reduce its patient list and stop providing nail care for everyone over 65,
In 2000, Sheffi eld PCT Podiatry Service introduced an empowerment project to reduce pressure on the service and to manage a four-year waiting list of over 2400 patients.
The project provided empowerment talks for low risk patients to promote self-care and to improve access for high-risk patients to within two weeks of receipt of referral.
• Staff were diverted from normal clinical duties
• These staff were trained in empowerent techniques with help from other disciplines.
• New patients were triaged by paper assessment. Those not at risk were invited to an empowerment session, then discharged after being shown how to self-care. This
tuition included advice about when to seek professional advice
• A short research study was undertaken to evaluate and
refine the approach
Outcomes of the project
• Elimination of the podiatry waiting list
• Improved access to the podiatry service was improved
• The resulting service was based on clinical need
• Improved satisfaction with the service among patients, carers and GPs
• As the service has developed, the podiatry team have learned how to deliver
empowerment sessions more effectively and have therefore reduced the likelihood of
poor self care
• Supporting research has shown how to improve the patient experience by widening
the assessment process to include social and mental health factors instead of
concentrating on the medical staus of the patient alone.
• The project resulted in savings to the service and did not cost money
• A regional benchmark exercise demonstrated that the service was able to see a higher number of patients per podiatrist than other comparable services.