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PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD!!!

August 18, 2005 12:00 PM

A new Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Triage Service for people with foot and ankle conditions in now operating in two areas of the city.

NHS Greater Glasgow have introduced this new service in the North East and South West areas of the city as a pilot in a bid to reduce the time that patients wait for treatment and make sure that patients are provided with the most appropriate care programme.

The Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Triage Service is based in the community and is intended for people who would traditionally be referred to a hospital orthopaedic department for treatment.

Two Extended Scope Practitioner (ESP) Podiatrists are leading this new service. Patients are triaged from the 50 GP practices in their local areas and the ESP Podiatrists work closely with the Orthopaedic Consultants and their teams at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Southern General Hospital.

Based at Pollok Health Centre and Shettleston Health Centre, Elaine Yule and Ramsay Sloss, are working hard to ensure patients are being treated according to the urgency of the need for care.

Elaine said: "Before this service was available a patient requiring treatment for a foot or ankle condition would be referred to a hospital orthopaedic department.However many patients do not need to see an orthopaedic surgeon.

"That is where we come in.

"We will see patients and then decided on the appropriate health care needs for the patient including referral for x-ray; providing steroid injections; ordering special insoles or splints and referral for specialist shoes."

Dr Richard Groden, GP at Tollcross Medical Practice has added his support to the service.He said:"This is good news for our patients.Rather than waiting to see an orthopaedic surgeon, patients who do not need surgery are being seen quicker and treated quicker."

The initial pilot programme is for 18 months but if successful will be rolled-out across the city.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

What is an Extended Scope Practitioner (ESP) Podiatrist?

Podiatrists are specialists in examining the way people walk and how their foot function affects their joints. The ESP Podiatrist is a skilled practitioner who specialises in orthopaedic problems of the foot and ankle. They work closely with Orthopaedic surgeons and are able to identify when a foot and ankle condition will benefit from surgery. They are also able to identify when a condition could be investigated by other health care professionals.

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