Improving Diabetic Care within the Leeds Specialist Diabetic Clinic

Member News

The Diabetic Limb Salvage Service is one of many pioneering initiatives helping to improve diabetic footcare within Leeds. Working in partnership with the NHS, Steeper orthotist, Tanmeet Kaur is part of the multi-disciplinary team treating all diabetic patients with a foot ulcer.

Over the last decade, the number of patients with diabetes has risen by 150% and with the condition growing at a particularly high rate, diabetes is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions. As a result, the demand for specialist services within the NHS has grown and specialist clinics similar to the one at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds have been vital in reducing the pressure on community care. Designed specifically to treat higher-risk patients and those with more complex cases, the limb salvage service’s primary aim is to educate patients in ulcer care, enabling them to effectively control their diabetes in the long term.

Uniquely, this service combines the expertise of doctors, podiatrists, orthotists and surgeons enabling patients to receive the very best treatment for ulcer care. Having all services within the same clinic also makes it convenient for patients attending and as a consequence, the clinic has a vastly reduced Charcot consolidation rate when compared to the national average. This reduction can also be attributed to the unique casting method developed by clinicians and modified through patient consultation within the clinic.

The LOCC (Leeds Orthotic Contact Cast) delivers a gold standard in casting and combines orthotic biomechanic knowledge with a custom cast, resulting in higher levels of patient compliance and improved ulcer healing times. Unlike similar casting techniques, the LOCC uniquely helps to reduce ulcer pressure by evenly distributing the pressure around the leg, in addition, the cast significantly reduces ankle movement which has a positive effect on healing. For increased protection and to keep patients in a full foot cast mobile, a Steeper Stock Cast Boot is then fitted. With a wider width, this boot easily accommodates bulky casts and provides additional support and comfort for the patient. Available on a short lead time, stock braces are most commonly used within the diabetic clinic as any delays are critical and can make a significant difference to the outcome of the patient’s limb. Therefore, having quick, scheduled and on-time deliveries, along with a well-established customer relationship is essential in the successful running of the clinic, something that Steeper is very proud to be a part of.

As more of the population are diagnosed with diabetes, treatment of the condition has steadily increased over the years. Along with an improved awareness, clinicians and community nurses within Leeds are trained on a regular basis by specialists including Steeper orthotist, Tanmeet. The training covers topics from shoes to feet, helping to spot symptoms early and reducing the severity of the outcome. Running alongside the clinic and training days are two other unique services within Leeds; a community podiatry team and foot protection service. Both of these have proven to be a vital link in helping reduce numbers at the diabetic clinic and within the community.

For more information on the Diabetic Limb Salvage Service and our orthotic presence within the clinic at St James’ University Hospital, please contact [email protected]