A national approach to diabetes foot risk stratification and foot care

Scott Med J. 2011 Aug;56(3):151-5. doi: 10.1258/smj.2011.011113.


The Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group (SDG) has developed and introduced a national strategy plan for diabetic foot care across Scotland. This has involved the implementation of an evidence-based national foot screening and risk stratification programme that has already covered 61% of the population in just the first two years. Nationally agreed patient information foot leaflets and professional education material have been introduced, and a consensus for antibiotic use in the diabetic foot has been published. Information on multidisciplinary specialist foot services has been collected, indicating that 58% of Health Board areas have consultants with dedicated sessions in their job plan to a foot clinic, and 42% had integrated orthotic involvement. The SDG aims to increase these figures. Work has been undertaken to support local podiatry networks and improve communication between the specialist centre and the community. At a national level the SDG is working with Foot in Diabetes UK (FDUK) to recognize key podiatry skills by developing core competencies and a competency framework for the diabetes podiatrist and diabetes orthotist. The annual Scottish Diabetes Survey indicates some improvement in amputation rates with prevalence decreasing from 0.8% to 0.5%, and improved recording of foot ulceration at a national level. This national strategy has helped highlight the importance and difficulties facing diabetes foot care and should help to continue to improve the quality of care of people with diabetes who have foot-related problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Competence
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetic Foot / prevention & control*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Foot / surgery
  • Foot Diseases / prevention & control
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Podiatry / education*
  • Scotland