North Ayrshire Foot Care Project – TSI North Ayrshire

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

Due to the increasing demands on the Podiatry service within NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the Podiatry service required to re-shape their service delivery to ensure that those with the greatest need get access to adequate resource and evidence based podiatry care.

What you did?

At present 6% of resource is allocated to those with the highest need and this requires to increase to 30%. The NHS Scotland National Personal Foot Care Guidelines (draft – due for completion in Dec 2012), confirms that ‘Personal Foot care’ should not be considered a core component of Podiatry Services and suggests self-care and asset approaches to be adopted to deliver services such as low risk foot care to older people.

A model was identified where a volunteer (or social enterprise employed) workforce could undertake personal foot care for older people. Regular basic foot and nail care will be provided safely by trained volunteers / employees and more frequent care from the service will significantly reduce the risk of possible injury through trips and falls. The model encompasses rural and town based communities, and is based upon a partnership and pathway approach with demonstrable mutual benefit.

Money was allocated to the Third Sector from the RCOP budget to enable this service to be established. In North Ayrshire service provision has been subject to a tender process conducted by the TSI North Ayrshire.

A steering group comprising of third sector organisations with experience in this type of service delivery, podiatry service management and Development workers from the TSI was established to set out clear criteria and guidelines for the provision of this service. From these meetings a tender document was put together with advice provided by a member of the NHS A&A contracting team, This was advertised to 3rd Sector organisations through Ayrshire utilising partner TSIs in East and South Ayrshire and through Press advertisements.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

Older People will be able to access an affordable foot care service that will be working closely alongside NHS services to ensure that their feet remain healthy which will promote mobility and falls prevention

Contacts - to find out more

Jim Nichols,  01770 600611