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PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

April 28, 2006 10:48 AM

An event to celebrate the success of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Foot and Ankle Triage Service is taking place on Tuesday, May 2, 2006.

The Foot and Ankle Triage Service has been running as a pilot since spring 2005 and has helped reduce orthopaedic waiting times and waiting lists.

The event, which is being held at Eastbank Health Promotion Centre, will bring health staff, patients and the public together to look at how successful the pilot project has been for patients.

It will also recognise the benefits brought to the service including an improved patient journey through treatment and reduced waiting times.

The pilot project has been praised by the Minister for Health and Community Care, Andy Kerr.He said: "We are committed to delivering quality orthopaedic services to improve access and reduce waiting times for patients.

"It is great to see projects like this one helping people to get the treatment they need in their local community rather than having to be referred to a hospital.This is at the very heart of Delivering for Health and I hope to see more initiatives like this one developing across Scotland.

"I would encourage people to go along and ensure their views are heard to help shape the future of this valuable service."

Mr Senthil Kumar, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, will be presenting key issues, statistics and future plans for the service.

He said:"NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde introduced this new service in the North East and South West 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.

"I am delighted that this has made a difference to both waiting times and orthopaedic waiting lists.People who would traditionally be referred to a hospital orthopaedic department for treatment are being seen in a community setting and within a much quicker timescale."

The event will also feedback on how the service has operated over the last year and will also generate additional evidence that can be fed into the business case for securing future funding for the service.

Ramsay Sloss and Elaine Yule, ESP Podiatrists added:"Many patients with foot or ankle conditions do not need to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon, which is where we come in.We see patients and then decide 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."

The event will open with lunch being served at 12 noon and will close at 3.30pm.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Why have this new service?

A large number of patients with foot and ankle problems are referred to hospital Orthopaedic Out Patient Clinics to be seen by an Orthopaedic surgeon.Many of these patients will not require treatment by an Orthopaedic surgeon.

Research has shown that some patients referred to Orthopaedic clinics end up being treated by other health care professionals.Being seen by these professionals to start with could provide a quicker and more satisfactory service for these patients.Orthopaedic surgeons will still see the patients that need their specialist skills.

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.

For further information please contact Lyn Stirling, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications Department on 0141 201 4558.

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