1 in 5 practice nurses feel they don’t have the patient materials to support a foot consultation.1 NICE guidelines recommend that each person with diabetes should receive a foot health assessment at least once a year, and also understand how to care for their own feet.2

However, a survey by Flexitol1 revealed that not all practice nurses have materials which can help achieve this:

  • Around 1 in 5 of practice nurses do not feel they have adequate patient materials to support diabetic foot consultations.
  • Around 1 in 6 of practice nurses do not feel they have adequate materials to help conduct an annual foot check.
  • For half of the practice nurses surveyed, at least 50% of their patients were not resolving early symptoms of foot problems such as dry and cracked skin and/or callus.

Other studies suggest that annual foot checks are not being conducted for all people with diabetes, with significant variations between CCG areas.3 Resulting unresolved foot-health issues can increase risk of further complications.

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of non-traumatic limb amputation, with diabetic foot ulcers preceding more than 80 per cent of amputations in people with diabetes.2 NICE advises that people with diabetes should have access to adequate information and support, enabling them to monitor their foot health, be aware of their risk status, and what next steps can be taken if they are at a higher risk of complications.

doctor, the podiatrist examines the foot

Flexitol foot screening toolkit

Personalised patient materials may offer real value to diabetes healthcare professionals as these can be tailored to each patient depending on their risk status. In order to support access to quality information and support, Flexitol has developed a range of materials to assist healthcare professionals in the delivery of effective, high-quality diabetic foot screening. The Flexitol Diabetic Foot Screening Toolkit includes materials to calculate your patient’s individualised risk classification, help them recognise the signs of deterioration and provide a tear-off personalised action plan.

The Toolkit has been developed by Thornton & Ross, the manufacturer of Flexitol in conjunction with Advanced Podiatrist Donna Welch and the InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT).

Download Toolkit

Back to Diabetic Foot Health

1. Data on File, Thornton & Ross. Opinion Health, Foot Health Diabetes Study conducted among 150 practice nurses, June 2016.
2. NICE NG19. Diabetic foot problems: prevention and management. nice.org.uk/guidance/ng19 (accessed January 2024).
3. HSCIC (2014). National Diabetes Audit 2012–2013. Report 1: Care Processes and Treatment Targets.

UK-FLEXRX-63ed | January 2024

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